Sunday, November 7, 2010

November 7: We're Home


Well, we are back. Grandma and Grandpa welcomed us through our doors with open arms, and brought back our dog Lucy (who, despite what Grandpa says about her being happy to be back, has appeared quite sullen since we got here. I think she figured out Bella is missing). Thank God for Grandma and Grandpa. They made sure our fridge was stocked, and the place was clean, although GOD LOVE our tenants Andrea and Josh; they left the place cleaner than they got it!

We enjoyed a nice leisurely start to the day, and around early afternoon, it was time to go. It was a very unique ride back to OC from Phoenix today. I don't know if it's my imagination, but I-10 never looked so pretty to me. The sky was magnificent, the mountains were succulent. I have driven that stretch from Phoenix to LA/OC since 1999 and today it was just the prettiest. I think some of it has to do with my new love for photography, so my visual attention has heightened over the past couple of months. If I want to take as good pictures as some of the mommy bloggers I've met, I need to upgrade my camera and develop my eye! LOL. Seriously, though, I notice beauty a lot more now than I did before.

The house is eerily quiet. I feel like turning on my old PC just so its rattle and hum will somehow fill the void. I used to hate that thing, but maybe now, it'll make it feel... fuller. It also doesn't feel like ours anymore. When you were a kid, did you ever visit your old school, either over the summer or a year or two or three later? What once seemed like an entire universe upon return seemed a bit... small. It's because you outgrew the place. It feels like we've outgrown this space, even though there are fewer of us in it.

When we got home, we slowly just walked around, reintroducing ourselves to the house (condo). It was like a dreamworld... very surreal. It looked familiar, and that's when it hit me... it's the same, but we're not. We've changed. A lot. We've grown. A lot. We're different. A lot? Remains to be seen. This space is the same, but we're not, and when I say we, I mean the 4 of us. One of our good friends at the Phoenix Gathering acknowledged in front of everyone on the mic that he has witnessed a transformation in the three of us. He hung out with us last fall in CA for a couple of days, but hadn't seen us then. When we reconnected at the Gathering, he remarked how different we were, but in a good way.

Okay, I am wiped out and need sleep. Tomorrow begins the first day of the rest of our lives.

Doesn't tomorrow hold that possibility for all of us, though?

How do you relate to Mondays?

God night.

Here's a double dose of Bella since I forgot to post a pic last night!


  1. love that picture of your beautiful girls

  2. I've noticed your pictures are getting really good! I'm glad you made it home safely. We're praying for you all as you adjust to your new lives. Love, The Edlings

  3. Welcome home! How nice to be back in a sunny day with beautiful blue sky and the granparents waiting for you.Mondays are always difficult for my family;for Martin and Victoria the older they get, the more they hate to go to school on Mondays! And if it's raining like today, even worse! (I'm so British talking about the weather!).
    Praying for a good and different start of the week for the three of you.

  4. What precious little girls!

    Alexandra in Australia

  5. I'm glad you are home...don't jump right in yet, just be.
    Lisa, Long Isalnd

  6. Happy first day... I loved your post from your last night in AZ. I can't wait to hear all about the exciting things you have up your sleeve! What does Ali think of being home? Great picture of the sweet girls. Hope you have a good day, love you guys!
    Amanda, Bryce, and Corynn Schauer

  7. Glad you made it back home safetly.

    FYI, California has nothing on Minnesota. We are enjoying 66 degress in November!! Uffdah, that's some nice weather!

    St. Peter, MN

  8. Hi Ringgolds: So happy that you are finally home. I know it is a little hard to come back where there are so many Bella memories. I hope you find some peace there as well. There's no place like home (click your heels here).
    Glad that the trip back was so memorable. You guys have so many new friends (out here is blogdom) who love you and care so much about you.
    Love the pictures of your beautiful daughters. Keep em coming. Love and Peace Leah's Nana

  9. Dear Ringgold Family,
    Welcome home... the same home, but the changed family of 4. Much love and happiness to you as you begin.
    -Michael and Robin Setto

  10. Glad you made it home safely, and that your trip across the country was memory filled! I hope to make some more progress this week on the EB protocol for my unit, depending on how busy with my patient assignment I am. Today however, I am off of work, and fully intend on enjoying the 60+ degree weather here in Chicago!


  11. I am so happy you all are home yet I sit here crying. Crying over which some might declare silly...Lucy missing Bella. Dogs pick things up...yet cant understand through words what has happened.

    I love your pictures of the sky. Lately the sunset has been shades of pinks, blues and lavender. I always think of Bella when the sky looks like that...they remind me of her. In my head she is painting the sky for all that love her.

    You do realize you spoil us. You give us daily updates and pictures of Bella and we have become accustomed to them. It felt like something was missing from yout blog when there wasnt a picture of Bella yesterday.

    Mondays for the older kids head out to school it means it is just me with Noah and Clara...I love that. I love being alone with them and enjoying my week ( I am a SAHM). Although by the end of the week I long for someone else to be here to lend a hand.

    Sending my love to all and sweet, sweet kisses to Ali.

    Denise WI

  12. Ahhhhhh...Mondays for a kindergarten teacher are always extra work. And today looks like a rainy one, which means, I live with all 23, all day. Good times.
    So glad you are home, safe and sound. I've never been away from home that long, I imagine its very surreal. Was Ali thrilled to be reunited with all her stuff? After 2 weeks in Ohio each summer, its fun to See Jack and Molly find "new" joy in the familiar. Poor Lucy....she's adjusting, too.
    Love those pictures......
    Let me know about details for Sunday I can help with.
    Love from home, literally 10 minutes away!

  13. Big hugs, Ringgold family.


  14. Jack and Molly's NanaNovember 8, 2010 at 9:00 AM

    As you revisit your home, take time to feel the memories in all the "stuff". When my mom died and we were getting her house cleared out to put it on the market, one of my favorite things was to find items that had special meaning for me - her silly collection of jewelry, a note I had written to her from church camp, photos in the drawer of her secretary, etc. Hold them close, enjoy the memories; they won't all be happy ones, but they're all part of what makes you YOU.
    So happy you had a successful and safe trip home. I'm with Sara regarding Sunday - whatever you need. Anxious to finally meet all of you. Welcome home!

  15. Those are GREAT pictures of Bella and Ali. Love it!! I love those scenic pictures as well. What a great sunset huh? Just gorgeous.

    I'm glad you've made it home safely. Now try and relax and just soak it all in. Just Breathe...

    Lots of Love,
    Amber, Craig, Malorie(2 1/2), and Liam(10mos.)
    The McLaughlin Family
    Moreno Valley, CA

  16. Welcome home, sweet family! One journey has ended and another has begun. Wishing for you peace, comfort, and strength. The southerner in me must come out as I think about your Lucy and say, "Bless her heart." Our 4-legged friends are indeed intuitive, sometimes more so than we are. Take good care of her as you take care of each other!

    With affection,

    A friend in NC

  17. Good morning, Ringgolds!

    I'm so glad that you made it home safely, and had smiling faces to welcome you.

    I don't have any grand words of wisdom for you (imagine that!) but I am praying for God's peace that passes all understanding.

    LOVE the pics of Ali and Bella - your girls always make me smile!

    Love from TX,
    Laura (and Team A)

  18. WELCOME HOME! Can't wait to see you all!
    A lot of these pictures of Bella, I first notice how sweet she looks (as always) and then realize that Everlee just had on that shirt or those pj's! :) I love it! Like the puppy dog ones from the other post.... Evie just had those on! It's like we get our very own piece of sweet Bella. I am so grateful for that. I am grateful that Evie somehow gets to be around her.
    See you soon!
    The Vanderbooms

  19. Thinking of you all as you start a new chapter in your life back home. SO happy you are home safe and had a great journey across the country. THe pictures are GREAT.
    Meagan Canada

  20. Sniff, sniff, so glad you made it home safe and sound with so many memories from that loving trip. Now another adjustment. As Marcel Proust said" "Happiness is beneficial to the body (all your new friends from all over) but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind". Look out world, here come the Ringgolds. Lovingly, Greenie PS: That is the most beautiful picture of Ali that I have seen yet.

  21. Welcome Home!!! As I got up this morning, I immediately thought of you, Ang & Ali...wondering if you woke up startled and didn't know where you were for a milllisecond. Home is not new, but it is...a major oximoron. So glad you made it home safely and praying that whatever today, tomorrow and moving forward bring- that you will smile at some point in the day, even if at times it may be through tears.
    I will be meeting with Sara on Sunday, a few hours before the service, to help out!

    As for Mondays...or tends to be my 'in office day'...hospitals, nursing facilities and dr offices are trying to play catch up from the weekend, and transition into the work week- so I don't always feel welcomed when I walk in on Mondays!
    I pray your day has been filled with peace....oh, and...are/have you been rocking out on your new guitar?

    thinking and praying today and always for you, Ringgolds-
    nicole b

  22. How was the first day of the rest of your life? I hope it was filled with love and memories of your last 18 months.

    You, Ang and Ali continue to amaze me on your strenght throughout the past month. I hope now that you are home you take a few days "off" and let life lead you where it may for a few days. I know I will miss you but down time always refreshes me and allows me to sort through whatever needs sorted.

    I hope you feel all the virtual hugs coming your way on the blog today.

    Holly in ND

  23. Tim and family, Glad you made it home safely. Not much to say. Embrace the pain, and the memories. Without one, you can't have the other. Pain is a good thing. It helps the heart heal.
    Thoughts and prayers

  24. Loved Ali's openong picture and so loved the one of the girls together. Glad you made it home safely.

    "Tomorrow begins the first day of the rest of our lives." So true - each new days brings new possibilities.

    Tina in NJ

  25. "Seriously, though, I notice beauty a lot more now than I did before."...Bella will do that to a person!
    Hugs. Praying God will continue to give you strength and comfort as you move forward.

    from SD (gorgeous here too today, we'll take it)

  26. "Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened!"

    Dr. Seuss

  27. Wonderful pictures, and a wonderful trip. Thank you for sharing and helping me grow too.

  28. I've noticed the beauty through, after, with pain before, and it was/is from behind a camera lens. I would like to share my photblog with you if you would like to visit. I hope you do.

    Glad you are home, and it seems as if it would have been harder if you had not have taken the trip around the states remembering Bella, and just went directly home after she did. It's like you carried her and she went with you home. That's just me talking though.

    I lost my last, one, and only Uncle who I was very close to on Sept 7th from MDS/AML. When nothing else could be done for him he just wanted to come home, but he still wanted to live, and tried so hard to do. Of course, I wanted him to live too, and I tried in my mind to find something to help him live. It was very hard feeling so helpless! It was very, very hard to have to see, and let him go home. Breaks my heart still, but... One of the things he taught me through it all was to never, ever doubt what God can do. He also helped me to fully understand with calrity the meanings of faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love. He never knew he taught me all of that. I'm glad you never gave up on Bella..not that you would have. I'm just saying.

    Home is where the love is.