Before we begin, please enjoy this AWESOME slide show from our last photographer from Sunday, Sara Cooper...
Well, it's the last day of Ang's leave of absence. Tomorrow, she goes back to work. She's easing into it very strategically. Two days this week, then a break, three days next week, then another break, then back to full time in the third week. She is feeling a little happy to go back since the house is painfully quiet and we are pretty much settled back in. Her boss has been incredibly supportive and told her that if she goes in and her brain just won't work, it's okay to go home. How awesome is that? They have managed her tough projects for her right now, so she doesn't have to jump right into the deep end. Instead, she can work her way back into full gear gradually.
We went downtown to walk around for our last afternoon together...
Our bank has a Starbucks inside! Love that...
I think this is really, really wise, given the cognitive disturbance factor that is banging both of us over the head right now! I am mixing appointments up, forgetting things that happened, losing important paperwork (not good!), and yes, leaving my keys in the car with it running while I blissfully go in and shop (just yesterday... today was okay in that department). It's frustrating. You know when you are getting over a cold and you think you are all good, so you head back out into the world, only to get creamed by the cold and you relapse? That's a little bit what this feels like. We are clear and focused for several hours at a time, every day. However, there are also several times a day when I am little more than a walking drooling object. I don't really drool, but my brain essentially shuts down during a hit over the head with the old grief bat.
I just want to pause and thank all of you that are out there that are commenting right now. This has been a very cathartic process, this blog. We read your comments first thing in the morning, and last thing at night, and they really help us not feel alone. This grief isn't going to go away any time soon, and neither am I, and I hope that neither are you. As I continue to pour out insights along the way, I request that you 'lurkers' out there (my affectionate term for those who read but don't comment) come out of hiding and share a thought, a feeling, a word of encouragement. I lay it all out on the line here, and over a thousand people read this blog a day, but we only hear from 15-20 of you in return.
Again, you don't have to have the 'right thing to say,' who even knows what that is anyway? I think people are just so afraid of saying 'the wrong thing' that they say no-thing. If we were in a room, and I could see your face, feel your smile, we'd be good, but since I can't connect back to you through any other medium than your words, please reciprocate by sharing a little something in return. My hope is that we are a community by now... that we recognize each other's writing styles, and that we've come to know and appreciate being in each other's lives. I want to continue to build this community, so that more like minded people who believe in hope and love and courage come together in a safe place where we can all drop our armor and our masks. I wouldn't ask it if I didn't first do it myself. I am the first to write every day, and I am the first to appear before you totally vulnerable and authentic.
Alright, enough about that. Don't be a lurker. ;-)
I have a great "Ripples in the Pond" story to share with you!
I got the most hilarious voice mail from my buddy in MN, Spencer. Spencer is Collin and Aubrey's dad, who we met at the falls and became good friends with. Anyhow, I have been requesting of Spencer to periodically call my voice mail and just talk so I don't lose my Minnesota accent!
Anyhow, today, Spence is way out in the boonies of Wisconsin for work and hungry as a bear. There's nothing around for miles except a McDonalds, so he reluctantly goes in for a bite to eat. The sweetest old lady you ever saw was behind the register. She asks if Spence wants to kick in a dollar for the Ronald McDonald House and without looking he says yes. Then, he looks a little closer at her.
What is festooned all across her hat and shirt?
He asks for the dollar back and hands her a FIFTY! She comes around the register and gives the big lug a giant hug! He fills out the card and says he wants to make it in memory of Anabella Ringgold. She asks who that is, and he tells her the story. She breaks down in tears and while crying basically tells him he's the sweetest man in town.
4 hours from Minneapolis, 4 hours from Milwaukee. Behind the counter in a fast food restaurant...