An unexpected gift …

Last night we celebrated the life of a dear friend and sorority sister. It was an absolutely beautiful memorial service. She blessed the lives of so many. And she will be truly missed.

A few days ago my sorority sisters and I decided to go to dinner after the memorial service. We wanted extra time together to remember our sister, reminisce and reconnect. And that, we did. It was a such a special night.

Although I remain broken-hearted at the loss of my friend, I couldn’t help but look around the banquet room last night and say to her “you did this”. There were women there whom I haven’t seen or heard from in decades. Women who really mattered to me. Women who I loved. It was an incredible feeling being in their presence again.

My friend’s passing has been a great tragedy, but last night I was reminded that death is not the end of a relationship. It simply changes it to move beyond that which is worldly … and it’s beautiful. My friend may not have been with us physically last night but through her influence and inspiration she still managed to give her sorority sisters something precious. Togetherness.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you receive an unexpected gift!!!

Home for the holidays …

I thought I always understood the saying “home for the holidays”. Let’s face it, it seems pretty straight forward, right? One would assume that it basically means going from one place (your current home) to another (a parents’ home or childhood town) in which you will spend the holidays. Well, I guess it can be JUST that for some. But this year I have learned that it means so much more.

Last night I fell asleep on our couch waiting for Sid to come home from her first semester at college. I have to mention that after an emotional two weeks, I was exhausted. I was out like a light. I guess at some point Libs realized I was not waking up so she covered me with Christmas blankets. Goodness, I have such thoughtful kids!

Anyway, I wanted the house perfect for Sid’s home coming. Although G3 had no interest in being crafty with me, he hung out with me anyway as I made a “Welcome Home” sign and baked cookies. Had Libs not been at a party earlier in the evening, he might have passed the torch to her on that one, HA! But I think he knew I was excited and that I would enjoy the company. Again, I have great kids! And then there was Reese. She was absolutely beside herself knowing that her “Diddy” would be home soon. It just melted my heart.

So our Christmas tree was lit and the eggnog cookies and sign were placed so Sidney could see them upon entering our family room. Everything was as I had hoped for her arrival. I was happy and I tried so hard to wait up for her. Truth be told I have no clue even when I actually fell asleep. But at some point in the middle of the night there she was sitting next to me on the couch when I woke.

It was like a dream. Sid was home. She gave me the longest and sweetest hugs. She knew how much I had missed her, how hard all of this is on me with her being gone. Honestly, I’m in tears just writing about it. I have missed knowing ALL OF US are under one roof. I have missed the feeling of togetherness. And although I couldn’t be happier for her to have the opportunity to chase her dreams, I am on some level, still continuing to adjust to the heart break of her leaving. But in that moment, when my eyes opened and I saw her there, the pain of missing her was replaced with joy. WE were all together again. It didn’t matter to me that everyone else was asleep. My world and the people who matter the most to me, the people who are literally a part of me, were all … right … there. You see, “home for the holidays”, doesn’t just mean going home, it means feeling complete again. Or at least it does for me.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you get to go home for the holidays!!!