October 18, 2010
Crazy Busy, but in a Sort of Good Way
On September 28th, my wonderful sister in law Dorothy lost her battle with leukemia. My husband John was fortunate enough to spend her last few days by her side, along with his other sister, and his older brother. The three of them never left her alone in the last weeks; they took shifts sitting by her bedside 24/7, always making sure she was comfortable and could hear them talking and laughing around her. Just so she knew she was surrounded by the love of her family. Lucky woman.
My daughter and I flew out the night she passed and missed her only by hours. Still, we were there for the wake and the funeral, which was something to behold, I must say. Over 700 people came to the wake and waited in line for hours just to say goodbye to her. We had no idea, as her family, what a tremendous impact she had on her friends and her community. As an educator and Principal of one of the local elementary schools, she was loved by so many parents and students, it was astounding. The district closed her school the day of the funeral and I'm pretty sure every staff member - and half the parents and students - were there with us. It was truly a testament to her life and work; one of John's cousins commented, "When I die, if people have to wait in line for an hour just to get into my wake, I'll know I've done something right."
I was only able to stay back in New York for five days, but I so loved being with my family-in-law for even that short period of time. They are the epitome of family to me: close knit, but still functional :) I miss them and have been leaning on John a bit to think about retiring back east. We'll see how that works out.
I had to get back home earlier than everyone else because I had the big 50th wedding anniversary party for my parents coming up that next weekend and I had a few loose ends to tie up beforehand. I managed, with the help of my dear friend Shawnie, to get it all finished not only in time for the party, but three days early! Table centerpieces and all. On Thursday, my parents arrived, followed shortly thereafter by my husband and a handful of cousins from out of state. By Friday, we had a dozen guests or so already in town and our casual pizza and beer dinner for "a few guests" turned into a crazy fun evening with probably 30 people at my house. It was a great night and a good chance for people to meet each other before Saturday night.
Because I had managed to get organized (God knows how), Saturday was virtually stress free. I got to spend it cheering on Karma and her team at the Breast Cancer 5k run, then enjoyed Toby's football game later in the morning. I think I might even have taken a brief nap there somewhere in the afternoon before getting all dolled up for the big to-do.
I wish I had pictures to share, because the whole thing was so beautiful. It was everything I had pictured in my head and more; the food was excellent, the service was over the top. The room itself was breathtaking. The cake was gorgeous and delicious. The DJ was outstanding. My husband's speech - and the dozen others - were touching and memorable. And my dad danced. He laughed and talked and visited all night and he danced too. That's pretty unusual, if you know my dad. The rest of us? We were dancing fools all night long. Including my mom, of course, who was in her element.
They had a blast, my Mom and Dad. It might have been the night of their lives; I don't want to be too optimistic, but that was all I wanted to give them, and I think we succeeded. As soon as I get the pics back from our amazing photographer, I will share.
By Monday, we were exhausted, but in that good, satisfied way. And I had a job interview that day!
See? I told you I had a lot going on....
I am now gainfully employed, five days a week, 9-2:30 at a local medical office. But I'll write more about that later. I'll also fill you in on how my gorgeous oldest son is becoming such an awesome man and how my little guy got the Team Pin in the last game of the season tonight.
For now, I'm going to take my Vicodin for the tooth I just had pulled and hit the hay.
Did I say things were slowing down?