I can’t believe that it is been four months since I last posted anything here. It is certainly the longest I have gone since I began blogging in April 2007 and it took me well over a month to compose this one. My absence has not been for lack of news, thoughts or emotions to share, rather I have just not managed to find the time to process here. It also seemed the longer I waited to check in and catch up, the harder it was for me to just do it.
There are two major news events in my/our extended family’s life that I am sorry I haven’t let some of you know about sooner, as I know that many of you have been thinking about and praying with me for all of those involved.
First, on Thursday, May 27 Molly’s Godparents/my sister Meg and brother-in-law Bill brought home their daughter Corinne Joy Diana (a.k.a. Cora)! Cora was born on my birthday (March 6) this year and it was an incredible honor for Bob and me to become Godparents to our newest niece when she was baptized on July 11 (my sister/her mother’s 40th birthday)!
Cora brings so much joy (like her middle name) to Meg, Bill and all of our lives. The new parents are so happy that the great amount of time and effort they gave to the adoption process led them to their dream come true, a child for them to love and care for. It is so awesome that our daughter Abby and their daughter Cora are only six months apart and that they will get to grow up together as cousins so close in age! Sean is also shining in the role of “big cousin” to Cora, as he continues to do so as a big brother!
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for Molly’s Godparents/Sean and Abby’s Aunt and Uncle/my sister and brother-in-law in the past when they were in the midst of their adoption journey waiting to be matched and for your continued thoughts and prayers for them as they adjust to life as a family of three.
The other big news that I have to share is bittersweet. On Friday, June 4 Bob’s maternal Grandma/Sean, Molly & Abby’s “GG” (Great Grandmother) died. I know that I have shared here about GG’s health struggles over the years and also about how close Bob, the kids and I felt to her. We took this picture with GG earlier this year (in February) on her 89th birthday, which I actually mentioned in this post that I happened to write that day.
The morning of the day before GG died (Thursday, June 3) when the staff at the nursing home she was living at went to wake her up she was unresponsive. She remained unconscious until about 3:00 p.m. on Friday when she passed away. All of our local family members, including her two daughters (Bob’s mom and her sister/Bob’s Aunt) and many of her grandchildren and spouses had the opportunity to spend time with her the day before she died and say our goodbyes, which was a blessing.
It’s hard to believe that GG has died. We find peace in knowing that she is no longer in pain and suffering. We find comfort in the image of her reuniting with her husband in Heaven after all these years (he died over 40 years ago, when Bob’s mom was only 17) and other loved ones, including her parents, her older brother (who died several years ago) and even her great granddaughter/our baby girl Molly.
I am grateful that Bob, Sean, Abby and I got to spend time with GG the Sunday before she passed away when we stopped by on the way home from a trip to his parent’s summer cottage in Michigan and we have special memories of our last visit with her that day. I can still see her smiling face in my mind as the elevator door closed when we were leaving. She told us that afternoon that she was so happy that we had come to visit her and that we had made her day! I will carrying the memory with me for a long time.
I also feel blessed to have spent time with her the night before she died with Bob’s parents/my in-laws and Bob’s brother’s wife/my sister-in-law. We all took turns visiting throughout the day. Bob came home early from work and was able to be there in the afternoon with his parents, his aunt and uncle and some of his cousins. Though we may never know how much GG was able to hear, if at all, of the stories and memories we shared that day, I like to believe that in some way she knew we were with her, how much we all love her and that it gave her some peace and comfort as she neared the end of her life.
It has been ten years since my two grandmothers died and since then Bob’s Grandma/GG in many ways became like another Grandmother to me. I feel blessed to have had her in my life and that she got to know our son Sean so well and vice versa and that she got to meet our daughter Abby and see her many times since she was born last year in September.
I was honored to be asked to be a reader at GG’s funeral and Bob served as one of her pall bearers. I read the first reading, from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 about there being a time and a purpose for everything, “a time to be born and a time to die…” GG’s wake the night before and her funeral, followed by her burial were all bittersweet and beautiful tributes to her life and legacy. She will be missed.
As I have been writing this blog post, I reflected on and re-read my letter to Molly on what would have been her second birthday this year. I found it interesting to read the parts about asking her to intercede if she could to help bring a child into her Godparents’ life and to bring healing and peace to her paternal Great Grandmother. Whether or not Molly had anything to do with either request, I find it pretty amazing that not long after I wrote the letter that Meg and Bill were matched with their daughter Cora and GG was healed and given peace when she died and joined her Great Granddaughter in Heaven.
I also found my last post, Grace and Loss, to be a bit ironic, since I wrote it less than a month before GG died. Reading it again so soon after GG’s passing helped me to validate my feelings and emotions, as well as to remind me that the pain of losing her will ease and soften in time. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for GG while she was still living and for our family, especially now, as we mourn GG’s death and celebrate her life.
In other news…
Bob’s job is still very busy as the law firm where he works (in the accounting department) has been hit by the recession, as most businesses have. Thus Bob is one of many there doing the work of more than one person that otherwise might be spread around to more employees.
This siblings picture of Abby and Sean was taken a little over a month ago at our good friends’ wedding. We had the good fortune of getting to take a family road trip, Abby’s first, to Bay City, Michigan (the bride’s hometown) for the marriage celebration and had a lot of fun. The new photo of our family at the top of the sidebar on the right was also taken on our friends’ wedding day. The groom is one of Bob’s closest friends from high school and he was honored to serve as one of the groomsmen.
Sean graduated from Kindergarten in June, enjoyed a fun-filled summer participating in a various day camps, a weekly hip hop class and spending quality time with both sets of grandparents, along with his aunts, uncles and cousins.
Other highlights for Sean have been vacationing at Bob’s parents’ summer home in Michigan where he loves to swim in the lake and go for speed boat rides, a day trip to Six Flags Great America with my parents and losing more of his baby teeth along with the tooth fairy visits that followed. Sean was very excited to start 1st grade (at a new school) on Tuesday of this week and we share his enthusiasm!
Abby is now 11 months old and has reached many big milestones over the past few months. Abby has lot of new “tricks” from power crawling to pulling herself up and cruising along furniture. She loves to babble and seems to have more and more distinguishable sounds such as “Ma – Ma” (which melts my heart) and “ah-oo” when she or we drop something. She loves to clap her hands, wave, give high fives and mimic her older brother, especially at mealtime. Abby is to learning to eat table/finger foods and she continues to be a great nurser. She still won’t take a bottle, however recently she figured out how to drink out of a cup with a straw, so that has opened up more opportunities for both Abby and me to have a bit more independence. It’s hard to believe that she will turn one in 8 days!
After months of struggling with Sean and Abby sharing a room (with is a necessity in our two bedroom home), we and they have gotten into a groove and I am happy to share that most nights they are both able to sleep soundly without disturbing each other. Abby started sleeping through the night consistently when she was about 8 months old which was huge both for the siblings’ room sharing success and for me to start to feel more like myself again after 8 months of getting up with her to nurse at least once each night.
As for me…there never seem to be enough hours in the day. I decided to stop selling Tastefully Simple products in June after almost 4 years in the business. I will still always love their food/products, however I had lost the enthusiasm, motivation and time to hold parties and place order for clients. In the meantime I was asked (and accepted the offer) to volunteer to teach 2nd grade religious education (RE) at our church starting this Fall. I will do this 2 – 3 Sunday mornings each month while Sean is attending RE with other 1st graders at our neighborhood parish. It is a pretty big time commitment, however I believe that teaching our children (not just my children, but those in our community) about our faith is important and since Bob and I chose not to send Sean to Catholic school, I want Sean’s religious education to be a priority in his life and our family.
I have also been working very hard to get back in shape/lose weight and am proud to share that I have lost almost 30 lbs. since November! As I mentioned earlier I am still nursing, which is also time consuming and physically draining, but it is quality time that I get to spend with our daughter and I am trying to enjoy it while it lasts.
I am also still addicted to Reality TV shows and have spent many evenings this summer glued to the tube to see who Ali would pick on The Bachelorette (though I did cheat and read Reality Steve at times during the season), find out who “America’s Favorite Dancer” would be on So You Think You Can Dance and I am not ashamed to admit that I am really looking forward to the season finale of The Bachelor Pad on Monday, not to mention the season premiere of Dancing with Stars later this month!
There is probably a lot more that I could share about from the past four months of my life, however I have already covered quite a bit here and will save some things for future blogging.
Thank you for reading and, as always, for your kind words, thoughts and prayers. I will try not to let so much time pass before I post again.