Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 21, 2015

Hey Laura,

Today I'm 53. When I woke up this morning, the first thing I thought about after I remembered it was my birthday was how you used to send me a text first thing on my birthday. But guess what?! Clif left me a text first thing today. :-) Sweet boy.

I have had a pretty good day... Went to counseling 'cause my brain is overflowing with THINGS... good and bad...and just THINGS.  Got out of counseling and had multiple messages from sweet people. Two of my faves were Mrs. Cannon and Miss Dye singing a voicemail message to me and then a song from Emily, too. Talked to Lisa and had a good visit then. She is missin' you -- like we all are -- but has had a little bit better day today than earlier.  Some days just happen to be harder than others... for no obvious reason, it seems. But she and I had a good visit...and I actually talked to Mrs. Cannon and Mrs. Dye... Got some sweet text messages and phone calls from other family... 

Tonight, we're going out for dinner and I'm gonna eat somethin' good...and think of you. 

Sure do wish you were here.  Miss you so much.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Grief, for me, is...

...a brain that feels like it's stuffed with cotton, blocking any clear decision-making.

...a deep sense of loneliness -- even when surrounded by lots of love.

...gratefulness for so many good years and good memories

...concern for other people who are grieving the same loss

...inability to think past the right-now

...deep sadness 

...anger over injustices and early loss of life

...guilt for not being totally present for my family

These words don't even come close to the full feeling of grief for me.

I don't know why this go-round of grieving seems so painful... Maybe because it was too soon. Maybe because I wanted to be there when she left... I don't know...

But, I will say this. Though I would give it up in a second if she could be here with me, I am so thankful for the deepened sense of love and connectedness that I feel with her children... I love that we've checked in with each other most every day. I love that my nephew and niece-in-law :-) have called me from their honeymoon to tell me all about it. I love that my nieces have checked in before and after they flew back to NY. I love that Lisa called to say "hey" before she met up with Em and some friends at the zoo. I love that people who love them are reaching out and trying to lighten their load. I love that my other nephew chatted with me via text yesterday for thirty minutes. I love that we are all loving each other through the pain.

Somehow, that makes me think that Laura's not so far away after all. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Oh my goodness, Laura! Today I sure do wish you were at home so I could call you. I'm back in Bellingham and trying to get energy enough to get back to "normal life" though "normal" was a while back. I was thinkin' yesterday that now I will have TWO split second thoughts of wanting to call Mama and then wanting to call you and realizing I can't. I don't like that.

Em and Lis are headed back to NY... They've worked hard and I'm sure you would be proud of all that they have done... even if you wish they didn't have to do it.

Clif and Trisha's wedding was beautiful and full of love and fun... You were there, I'm sure. They are now honeymooning in Belize and have felt you there, even. Soakin' up all the adventure that you would have...

Lots of life is continuing to happen. And it is definitely roller-coastery.

So wish you were still here.

I love you.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The real winner

Cancer didn't win.

It didn't make the world warmer and more fun.

It didn't change people's lives with love and hope and courage.

It didn't smile in the midst of difficulties.

It didn't make people laugh and enjoy the simple things.

It didn't inspire people near and far.

Cancer didn't win.

Laura won.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You'll always be in Spin Class!

Hey Laura,

I think you would've liked today.

Lisa, Emily and I went to lunch with Judy and then we went to get pedicures.

Then, as I have been doing for the past few days, I took a nap. Grief can just wear a person out...even if they're not doing anything...

Tonight we all went to Spinning class at the Y, where you probably would have been embarrassed by the attention you got. Your classmates and the CEO of Albany area Y's dedicated one of the spin bikes to you... You got your own nameplate on the bike.

Somebody took pictures. Emily, Lisa and I got to help unveil the nameplate.  A few tears were shed...hugs were passed around... and then we rode bikes while Anita fussed at us to "hydrate!", "crank up that resistance", "stand and climb"... Tim pedaled backwards and did NOT hold onto the handlebars when Anita told him to...

And then afterwards, we all drove to Dawson to eat at San Joes (no, people, it's not misspelled)... and enjoy hangin' with each other.

Sometimes grief is exhausting. Sometimes you don't wanna be with people so much... But sometimes you hang with 'em and realize that you really are thankful for those people... 

You have some good, good friends who are missin' you just like we are... And they are tryin' to figure out how to live without you just like we are. 

We love you.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hey Laura,

Today the "children" found some old pictures and we had fun remembering the "olden days."

We're okay, but life doesn't feel quite right... We are lovin' each other the best way we can and your good friends are lovin' us a lot too.

Tonight Clif, Emily, Lisa, Trisha and I went to hang out with some of those very good friends... We ate good food... had good conversation...laughed a little... and got soakin' wet from the heavy downpour on the way there...

We talked about you. Just can't believe that you're not here...

I'm so thankful that you were my sister and that Clif, Emily and Lisa were blessed with you for a mother.

What an amazing gift you have been for us.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Southern Love

Picture this:

As soon as word got out about Laura, all those who have loved her so well in Leesburg FLEW into action.

Somebody got the key to the house. Sheets were changed. The house was cleaned. Food was prepared.  A refrigerator was rented to store the extra food (!). The grass was cut. The yard was "tidied". Vases of beautifully arranged homegrown flowers were placed in every single room in the house.

Then all those same people anxiously awaited the arrival of the rest of us so lots of hugs could be exchanged.

That is a picture of southern love.... one of many... 

And it continues.