Categotry Archives: friends

1

A New Groove

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I know I am way overdue for a blog post and I apologize.  The new job has been busier than I anticipated!  Since the account I was assigned to is brand new, there was a lot of work that went into getting it ready.  I worked lots of overtime the week before last and even then we still went live a day late!  So, I went in early last week too so we could catch up and while it’s going slowly, we are getting there.  But, the good news is I have found my groove and it’s becoming a routine.  Everyone is still getting adjusted but we’ll all get there.  I think some schedules may be in order!

I can’t believe that we nearing the end of the school year.  We got notice of when Buggy’s pre-K graduation will be.  L will be getting ready to take the Florida standardized test called the F-CAT and I’m a bit worried.  One half of it is reading comprehension which she has struggled with so we need to work with her on it.  She said her teacher let her know that if she didn’t do well on the test, there was still another opportunity to prevent her from staying back but we have heard NOTHING from the teacher ourselves so I sent an email to her teacher  to find out exactly what we need to work on.  She reads a TON and honestly, I think some of it is just not knowing how to scan and look for the answers within the stories so I’ll start there.  And then once I hear back from her teacher, I’ll have a better idea of what else we may need to work on.

With the approach of the end of  school year comes the time for registering Buggy for Kindergarten.  But our county is redistricting so I am pretty sure my kids will be going to another school next year.  This upsets me a bit because we love the school L is in now.  She has lots of friends there and I love a lot of the teachers.  All the kids from our neighborhood would be going to the same new school but still, it breaks my heart that she may have to start over at a new school in 4th grade.  It’s not as big of a deal for Buggy since she’ll be starting from scratch but it’s still a bit upsetting.  And I can’t believe my last baby will be starting school full time!  She loves school and I know she’ll do fine but it’s still so bittersweet.

Spring Break is just around the corner and I am so sad I won’t be able to be home for any of it.  B’s parents will be coming to visit so I know the kids will love their time with Grandma and Grandpa but I’d still like to be able to take some time off.  I just keep telling myself that I’ll have a week off in June to go to the beach so I’m trying to look forward to that.

We’re also looking into what to do with the kids this summer since we’ll both be working.  Buggy’s school had a summer long camp so we may just send them there. There’s also a science/environmental camp through the county that Linnaea wants to go to so maybe she can do that for a week.  No matter what they do I’m sure they’ll have fun!

Last night B and I went out on a double date with some friends who have kids the same age as ours (their older daughter was in L’s 1st grade class).  We left the kids at their house with one of our friends’ mothers and we went out to dinner and bowling.  We had SUCH a blast!  It had been a while since we went out with another couple so it was nice to get out without the kids.  The kids behaved and passed out their house so I would say the night was a success.  We’ve already made plans for a get together for St. Patrick’s Day!

Hopefully, once the job calms down, I’ll have more time to write!  I promise not to disappear!

4

A Sad End to 2012 And A Year of Change Coming in 2013

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I have to say that for a while, 2012 seemed to be a decent year given what we had been through the last few years.  Our finances were a bit better.  Buggy started pre-K and that was a change but a good one.  We kind of cruised along until October.  On the 20th we participated in our second Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in support of my friend and L’s former teacher, Robyn.  We got to the meeting area just as her brother was telling everyone that Robyn was in rough shape and unable to attend the walk.  My heart sunk and I just had a bad feeling.  I had seen her at the pre-K school a few weeks before and she had looked good.  I had IM’d with her a couple days before the walk about an extra team T-shirt we had and she seemed in good spirits but then again, she always was.  Little did I know she was deteriorating.  B and I celebrated our 11th anniversary that night but my mind kept going to Robyn.

Not long after the walk, her CaringBridge site was updated to say that she had recently been hospitalized to remove fluid around her lungs.  She was released shortly before Halloween and I saw her at the pre-K Halloween parade.  It was then I learned how severe things were.  She looked good, considering, and was her usual funny self.  But she told me without really saying it that she was preparing for the end.  She was due to start a new kind of chemo soon and she told me if that didn’t work, that was the end of treatment for her.  In turns out, she never even got to start it.

A few days after Halloween, she was hospitalized again with fluid buildup.  Over the course of that stay, it was decided that treatment would stop.  She moved to her parents’ home one town away, where she had been staying during most of her treatments, and hospice was called although she wasn’t yet in critical need of it yet.  I let L know the newest developments although I don’t think she grasped the severity of it.  I hoped Robyn would hang on for one last holiday season with her family…that they would at least have that.

In the end, she did have one more holiday.  She was able to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends.  That following Monday, her CaringBridge update let us all know that comfort measures had been started.  Her battle was ending and her journey home had begun.  I couldn’t stop crying.  I didn’t tell L about the latest news.  I had no idea how long she would hang on so I thought it better to just tell her when it happened.

The next evening, November 27 at 8:40 pm., beautiful Robyn’s courageous battle ended with her loving family by her side.  My heart was broken for her, her family and my poor L.  She was already in bed so I waited until the next morning to tell her. It turned out she already had a feeling it had happened.  A classmate (who had also been in Robyn;s class with L) had told her the day before that her mom had let her know that Robyn’s family thought she only had 24 hours left.  I prepared L for a somber day at school.  When I dropped her off, you could tell the teachers were fighting back tears.  L and I both wore out Team Knockout shirts from the walk in her honor and I saw many teachers had done the same.

Dropping Buggy off was even worse.  The Director of the school and I hugged and the tone of the school was sad, to say the least.  The following day, I saw Robyn’s daughter in the sick room and once I got to Buggy’s room, I asked her teachers if anyone knew how she was doing.  She was having a rough time which was to be expected so I made sure to poke in and say hi to her as I left.  I left the building in tears.

The Saturday after she passed, L and I attended the celebration of her life.  It was there that the reality of it hit poor L and during a beautiful guitar accompanied version of “God Gave Me You,” she broke down which naturally made me lose it.  But it was a beautiful celebration of her life.  There were funny little stories and reminders of how hard she fought and how she never lost her sense of humor.  When her husband went up, there wasn’t dry eye in the house.  Same thing when her brother got up.  But the amount of people there was a true testament to the kind of person she was and how much she was loved.  It was a dreary day and someone posted on Robyn’s Facebook page that it was because God was crying too because he had to take her home.  Even to my agnostic self, it seemed like a proper response.  But after the service, several people saw rainbows and I knew she was OK and in no more pain.  That was what mattered most.

In the time since she passed away, Robyn has made her presence known.  Twice while I was out to eat, I heard “God Gave Me You” and I knew it was her letting me know she was nearby.  I had NEVER heard the song before her service so to hear it twice in a couple weeks, I just knew it had to be her.  The second time it happened, Linnaea was with me and I told her Robyn was checking on her.  But I think Robyn did something even bigger for me.  The day after she passed, after weeks of no job leads, I got a call for an interview from a company I had come close to working for a few years ago.  It was a position I had a lot of experience in and the office was VERY close by.  I couldn’t help but think that given the timing, Robyn was already working her angel magic.  Last Thursday, I was offered the job and I feel that I have her to thank.

Before 2012 ended, life felt it had to deal one last blow.  On Christmas Eve day, Band Back Together lost one of their own.  Beautiful, kind and funny Misty was someone I had bonded with over the love of food and beer.  Her loss was sudden and unexpected and it shook us to our core.  She was one of the nicest people I have ever known and she is missed terribly.

So despite the sad ending to 2012, 2013 has started off on a happy note and I like to think things can only get better from here.  I start my job on the 21st and I am really excited.  We will have more financial freedom and the ability to go out a bit more and maybe take a couple mini vacations.  The kids are doing well in school and I am sure that will continue.  I am looking forward to the changes ahead.  Right now, life is good.  And when it’s not, I remind myself of what Robyn used to say, “It’s OK to have your bad days BUT you HAVE to get back UP…it’ll get BETTER.”  Wise words indeed.  I miss you, Robyn.

9

I Have Friends In Virtual Places

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I have a  group of friends that I share almost everything with.  They have seen me through good times and bad.  I have shared some of my most intimate secrets with them.  I’m sure most of you are thinking that seems pretty normal…that’s what friends do.  But the difference here is that I have never met most of then face to face.  Heck, I’ve never even SPOKEN to most of them but I still consider them some of my closest friends.

I guess I should give some background.  The Internet became a real big thing when I was in college.  During college and even after, I signed on to a few dating sites.  I met some great guys and some, umm, not so great guys.  One of those guys would become my husband.  After that, it didn’t take me long to find sites like iVillage where there were message boards for anything and everything.  I met several women through a message board for women in their 20s.  I am still friends with a couple of them today.  I met 3 other women through a weight loss board there.  Two of them are still my friends today.  In both cases, it’s been more than 10 years.

When B and I decided we wanted to start trying to have a baby almost 9 years ago, I found another message board, not on iVillage, for women who were trying to conceive their first child.  It also had a partner board for first time moms.  Those women soon became an everyday part of my life.  We saw each other through births, miscarriages, Divorces, the deaths of a couple of husbands and even through the heart transplant of the one of the babies.  We have never thought twice about calling each other “friend.”  The boards have grown, evolved and changed and are now for anyone trying to have to adopt a baby and for any mother.  And with the invention of Facebook, etc. we don’t always visit it as much but we are still part of each others lives.

As with most groups, we developed closer bonds with some rather than others.  I have a circle that I consider closer than the rest.  Some of them I have met face to face some of them I have spoken with on the phone or texted with.  ALL of them are good friends.  One of those friends, T, should have had her picture next to the definition of good friend.  Even though she struggled with her own issues, both physical and mental, she was always putting others first.  She was quick to send a card or a small gift to you, just because.  When I lost my last baby, even though she was going through a VERY tough time herself, she sent my family and me flowers even though we had never met face to face.  That was the kind of person T was.  She didn’t come around the board much anymore but we still kept in touch quite often.

A few weeks ago, the unthinkable happened.  T passed away very suddenly.  She was only 33 and left two children…a 5 year old girl and a 3 year old boy.  When a friend called me to tell me it had been posted on Facebook, we were both in denial…hoping it was a cruel joke.  But unfortunately, it wasn’t.  I went to the board to share the news and immediately, the outpouring of grief was immediate.  People who had strayed away came to pay their respects and share their memories.  People started brainstorming about something to do for her children and about places to donate in her memory.  I thought to myself “This is the definition of true friendship.  THIS is why after almost 9 years, these people are still my friends.”

One thing many of us said in the aftermath of T’s death was that a lot of people didn’t understand why we were so sad about someone we had never met.  For many of the women, even their husbands didn’t understand.  I know to us, it seems normal but to many others, it seems strange.  To me, this seems to be something that is becoming MORE normal.  With the invention of blogs, and social media like Facebook and Twitter, I think more and more people are meeting friends virtually.  I think people need to understand that even virtually, someone can be a good friend.  And more importantly, it’s normal to mourn the loss of one of those friends.

The pain of T’s loss is fading but our group has become closer which I didn’t even think was possible.  These women remain part of my everyday life even after almost 9 years.  I hope they all know how much I love and appreciate them and I hope to be friends for many more years to come.