I fell asleep getting Ali to sleep, and have risen briefly to share the magic of a day with you all. We left MN today, and that was strange, very strange. The finality of Bella's death hit home as we drove home with(out) her. Yes, we have her memories, yeah, we have her ashes, blah, blah, blah. At the end of the day, we don't have Bella in the way we hoped we would. For that I am so so sad.
Our journey today took us through MN, WI, IL, and IN. Ali did pretty well today; just one meltdown before finally falling asleep for a good nap. I got to see Chicago for the first time relatively up close. I took the interstate right into downtown so I could see as much of it as I could. It has quite a large skyline; like three or four Minneapolises!
We ended up in northwestern Indiana at the home of our friends Rada and Doug. They have two kids the same age as ours. Rada and Angelique used to work together at Verizon Wireless in Irvine, CA before Doug's work took them up here to the Chicago/Great Lakes Region. I hadn't seen either of them since they moved in '05, so it was a nice reunion, and fun to see the three kids that were not around last time the 4 of us were together.
So, tomorrow, we are on to Louisville, KY! I am excited as all of this is virgin territory for me. I have been up and down the coasts, but I am really enjoying seeing and feeling the interior of the great country of ours. There is just so. much. land, and it is beautiful (well, so far at least).
THANK YOU to all who have donated to PUCK in Bella's memory. They have received close to $2000 in donations over the past 2 weeks, and for that, we are so so grateful to you. IF you have been meaning to contribute, please do so NOW! :) Operators are standing by...
PLEASE take a second and let us know if you are planning on coming to one of our OPEN Gatherings in NC, TX, or AZ. These are the three biggest hotbeds of blog followers behind CA and MN, and we want to meet you. We want you to meet us. We have grown so close as a community. It was such a treat to get to meet three blog followers who came to the MN memorial. It was sooooo nice to put a face to the name we saw under the comments week in and week out. Even if you weren't a commenter, if you got value from this blog, please come out and share that with us. Also, our local organizers in each city need to get a sense of just what they got themselves into! For example, Patrice in NC is a TYPE A Planner! If she doesn't get some numbers from me soon as to who's showing up to this shindig, her head might come unglued. No joke! So, SAVE PATRICE! Tell us you're coming.
The NC Gathering is at Bolton Park in Winston-Salem from 5-7:30ish on THIS Friday, 10/29.
you can head over to Patrice's blog to read more about the plans. She's doin' it southern style with a pot luck and everything!
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Okay, gotta run for now and get back to sleep. Thank you all for STILL being here. I don't know what we'd do without you. It is so comforting waking up or going to bed reading all your comments of support and love. Please keep them coming. The grief is hitting in waves, and your presence softens their blow. Feel free to ask questions, talk, share, whatever in the comments. We are and have been a close-knit community for some time now. We recognize each other's names and style! Please, this isn't supposed to be a lecture, it's supposed to be a conversation.
This was taken by my computer program "Photo Booth." I just found some cute pics and video from when Bella and I discovered this fun little thing. I am guessing it was February by the beard... I hope you don't mind, but I plan on sharing more pics from Bella's "Glory Days" going forward. I don't know it will help or hurt, but many of you never 'met' Bella before the ICU, and I'd like to give you more of her to make her memory match her life.