Tuesday, September 18, 2007
That's What Friends Are For
I don't know where to begin except to say I am truly blessed. You see, some of my dearest friends drove all the way from Newport News to see me this evening. Kathy organized it, I chose the location for dinner and Edie, Mary, Cathy, Naomi, Enora, Kathy, Angie, Chris, Lana, Joy, Sarah and Bridget all came up for a visit. I'm so touched and blessed I don't know what to say.
Shortly after Hannah died and I had a house full of people, I remember saying that Brien and I must have done something right in our lives to be surrounded by so much love and support. Boy, did I feel the love tonight!
We met at 5:00 and didn't leave the restaurant until almost 7:30!! Wow! We all worked together and then, this year, so many of us left and moved on to other schools and other jobs. I have missed these ladies SO much, and the fact they all came to me was amazing! They all have families to take care of and papers to grade and school work to do, yet they took time from their busy lives to visit and play.
Naomi has been my surrogate mom for years--she has often said I'm just like her daughter, Angie. Now, I'm more like Angie than ever. You see, Angie had a beautiful little girl named Sterling who died when she was five. Naomi is another source of strength and courage for me. I've determined that there is a sad sort of club for parents and grandparents who have lost children and we draw strength from those who have gone before us. Nae and I talked and talked and she said I was just like Angie and that she chose to work through her grief the same way B and I have chosen to work through ours. She said that Angie was so positive and uplifting to those around her even in her grief and that she can see I'm doing the same. This was very reassuring to me as I have often worried I was maybe feeling a little too alive and "normal" and the worst was ahead of me yet. Now, I think I'm just riding my roller coaster the way that is best for me.
There was so much laughter and fun as we caught up and traded stories. We all had split personalities as we tried to pay attention to all the conversations that were happening around us. There was such much to catch up on!! I think my favorite part of the evening came at the end. We all proclaimed we were too stuffed for dessert and Mary looked so sad--she had wanted dessert! Being the codependent crew we are, four more of us decided we just had to have some as well. Amazingly enough, we all selected different desserts and before I knew it, we were passing our plates around the table for everyone to sample our goodies. :o)
As Bridge and I were talking across the table, we decided Friday is a Sparkly Hannah Day. We are going to wear our sparkly finest and celebrate the day. We then decided everyone needed to be in on this and spread the word from one end of the table to the other. It has been decided, Friday is definitely Sparkly Hannah Day! Everyone will wear their duds and Lana is in charge of taking pictures to send to me so I can post them on the blog. I invite all of you to participate and help celebrate the day! :o)
I'm sure you've been wondering about the gorgeous stained glass in the two photos above. My dear, sweet friend, Chris, gave it to me this evening, complete with the lovely stand. She intended for it to be put in Hannah's garden, but I might not be able to part with it and may instead keep it in a window here in the house. It is so perfect with the water lily, frog and fairy. I LOVE it! She seemed a little distressed it had taken a while to get it to me, but I felt the timing was just perfect with Han's birthday just around the corner.
As we were nearing the end of our time together, Kathy, who is always prepared and organized, whipped out her calendar so we could plan our next time together. We settled on October 9th at a lovely restaurant in Newport News. I'm already filled with excitement in anticipation of our next get together! :o)
Of course, I'm left feeling slightly guilty B had to be home alone with Lil who was more than a little bit of a handful this evening. Poor thing. :oP
The Olive Garden is next door to the HUGE Yankee Candle Flagship store and I've been trying to get in to purchase a couple of the spicy Autumn fragrances. Angie, Lana, Sarah, Bridget and I all went over and I met with success. I love going to Yankee as it reminds me so much of Hannah.
Per the Hannah norm, she LOVED visiting Yankee, I think in hopes of getting to go to "Builder Bear" (Build-a-Bear). Actually, she loved almost everything in the building. She would ring the wind chimes, smell the candles, play in the toy store, watch the toy train, dance through the snow in the Christmas stores, and admire all the decorative touches throughout, pointing out those which she thought would go best in our house. :o)
To that end, I wound up purchasing a jar candle (Harvest fragrance) and a pretty little decorative shade and plate to compliment it. Feeling the Monk with me this evening, I splurged and purchased them, when under other circumstances I would have just purchased the candle and left.
And, for kicks, here are two pictures of the Mini Monk being nothin' but trouble! She managed to get herself perched on the window ledge and then was "aSTUCK, Mommy!!" Now, this is NOT behavior I want to encourage by any stretch of the imagination, but it was really funny in this moment.
Hm, maybe Lil thinks she's a "meow" too. ;oP It's funny, Lil knows they're kitties and can even say, "kitty" and yet she insists on calling them "meows". Kids are too funny!
1. My wonderful, fantastically beautiful friends! I love them all so dearly and don't know what I would do without them! :o)
2. The beautiful stained glass window Chris gave me.
3. Mary prayed for us at Mother Teresa's house while she was in India. She returned with a Mother Teresa medal for me. I'm so touched.
4. Brien has set up a new website, currently with photos of Lil he has taken with his new toy.
5. A school that bands together when times are tough. The sub in my new coworker's room actually helped write the sub plans for the rest of the week!
6. The weather continues to be GORGEOUS!
7. One of my sweeties had a beautiful little bracelet today. :o)
8. The kids continue to delight me with their wit, wisdom and enthusiasm.
I'm drawing a blank today. You see, things are moving along. There is a new "normal" for so many things that I almost don't realize when they have shifted from old "normal" to new. So many daily activities that seemed strange without Han around to help out are now "normal". In many ways I hate this change, and yet, I embrace it because it means we are moving forward, we are moving towards healing. Oh, God, do I miss the Monk. I miss so many things and know I will always do so. Yet, for now, I don't hurt. I miss her but the painful ache hasn't been present the past few days.
Knowing how my grief manifests itself, I'm sure there are painful days ahead, so I once again embrace these good ones and enjoy them while I have them. I've had such a nice day--I waltzed through it with this evening to look forward to!--and now I'm anticipating a decent night's sleep. Let's keep our fingers crossed Lil manages to stay asleep this evening. I spent from midnight to 12:30 with her last night, which has left me feeling rather tired this evening.
I'm looking forward to all the sparklies yet to be seen tomorrow!
Don't forget, let's be sparkly on Friday! :o)