Finding joy. It's a Catch 22. I crave it like a druggie, for lack of a better word. But once it sneaks up on me, I sometimes feel guilty that I'm experiencing it like somehow I'm betraying my sister by smiling since her death. Logical, I know, right?
But I don't care how melancholy you are, when you see your kids jumping on the trampoline with football helmets in their underwear because they're so skinny they can't keep their pants up, joy sneaks in and stays awhile.
Family and friends are the keys to healing. I hug tighter and look for those moments where time slips away.
Before Tonya passed, my grandfather, whom we lovingly call Big Daddy, came in town. It's been almost four years since we saw him last but the boys just picked up like they saw him yesterday. Sometimes it amazes me that my Yakee Native American grandfather is related by blood to my blond hair, blue-eyed boy. And then I see their ears, and I see the resemblance.
And Miss Landry Kate didn't disappoint in her cuteness factor in her debut of meeting her great grandfather for the first time.
"Oh hey, Big Daddy. What? Me? Cute? Really, I mean...well if you say so, " said by my genius 6 month old daughter who is already speaking in full sentences.
Landry's middle name, Kate, is a tribute to both of her great-great-grandmothers' names, one of which is Big Daddy's mother.
My cousin, Scott and his wife, Myra, were also in town from California and we have loved getting to see them twice in less than a year.
Myra is about to be a grandma in a few months and it looks like she's going to be just fine with her already fine tuned baby skills.
How do you know you have the most caring in-laws in the world? When they drive nearly 1,000 miles when you lose your sister to be there for you and help with the kids when you need it the most. I wasn't the only one who needed them, the kids were pretty crazy about them.
The hugs, the love, the laughs, the cuddles are the best band-aid during this time. Every time I experience the joy from it, I realize that guilt I was feeling really isn't guilt, it's medicine.
Thank you God for surrounding me and my family with love. I cherish every second of it.