|Precious Hears Bouquet FTD.com|
Something happens to me at this time of the year and no it's not the giddy anticipation of a commercially infused holiday, although most all of them are commercialized anymore, no what happens is that I get frustrated. I get frustrated at all the women out there who demand Engagements #waituntilheisready Diamonds #costtoomuchmoney, Dozens of Flowers #overpriced, Chocolates #whichmakeyoufatanyways, and "Gallant expressions of Love" from men who would otherwise #scratchtheirbuttsandbelch and when they don't get these things or don't receive them in the way *they* wanted, they then say they had a *bad* Valentine's Day.
These women, and yes I was included in that bunch once upon a time, get all worked up when their men don't publicly profess their love in the most ridiculous and commercialized ways. In the grand scheme of life this *one* day is not what matters, it's the rest of them that do. So instead of demanding grand gestures on this Valentine's Day, take it from a girl that knows about *real* bad Valentine's Days and count your lucky stars you've never experienced one of those.
|I still have that vest|
|David, Me, Maggie|
Yet she still maintained that wonderful smile, grace, and loving warmth that radiated from her in palpable waves and touched everyone who crossed her path.
When she went into the hospital it was #surreal. She was so small in that big bed, surrounded by even larger bouquets of flowers. #MenorahHospital. I could still drive that route in my sleep I bet, and I'd wager my feet would find their way to the room she was in. This became the reason I hated hospitals. The smell, the food, the lights, and the sounds. Passing rooms with doors ajar to reveal people just laying there looking dead or moaning with pain. Doctor's and nurses checking orders and administering pain meds to ease the discomfort. People smiling sympathetically at you, and you at them, as you pass each other in the hallway. The universal understanding of a wounded soul grappling with the knowledge that a loved one either just had major surgery or is about to pass from their life forever.
|Mastectomy Oct. 15th, 2010|
I'm better about it now having been in and out of one quite a bit during my own journey, but I still don't like them.
Ultimately the cancer won, and Maggie became the true angel we all knew her to be on earth. The funeral was beautiful and the outpouring of love was tremendous. I'll never forget riding in the car with Greg and Becki, looking back at the line of cars that stretched so far it was through an intersection and stopping traffic. "Just like mom to cause a ruckus" was Becki's retort and we all laughed. #Itwastrue.
Life continued and we had to go with it. Greg and I went our separate ways, Becki graduated from HS, Greg and I graduated from college, he started moving around, I got married, then Becki got married. Her wedding was one of the most touching, heartfelt and beautiful weddings I have ever been too. Tim and I had been married for about 6 months at the time of Becki's wedding and I hadn't seen Greg for quite a few years. I was shocked to see him with a head full of hair! It's a good look for him ;) Anyways, after an emotionally charged ceremony, we went on over to the OP Convention Center for the beautiful reception. The place was decked out in fancy centerpieces, soft lighting, a dance floor and DJ, and of course an open bar (Thanks David!).
|Becki and Jeff|
Over the years I have visited her grave whenever I feel the need to feel her presence and hear her voice. Never did I need that more than the day I was diagnosed with #breastcancer. Shortly after Tim arrived home to hold me and share in our life shifting news, I felt the need to go for a drive. I just wanted to be alone with my thoughts and the breeze in the windows. I had no idea where I was headed, or when I'd be back, but Tim understood so with a hug and a kiss he watched me go. I got in the car and pulled out of the drive.
I hit the highway with nothing but the sound of the wind through the windows as it dried the tears on my cheeks. I turned onto 435South with no particular destination in mind as I stared out the window trying to wrap my brain around the weight of the news I had just been given. Before I knew it I was crossing into Kansas and was headed towards the cemetary. I felt instinct take over as I drove towards her grave and got out of the car; there on the rise, under the pine tree by the chime tower she lays. I brushed the grass off her headstone, and moved the pine cones out of the way so I could sit down next to her. Resting my head on my knees I let go and let the rest of the tears flow. I talked to her in my head and asked her to give me the strength, grace, and courage needed to get through this. I also requested that she watch over me like never before and just like Becki, she did me one better.
I will always be eternally grateful to Maggie and to Sue for getting me through my chemo. Even though I didn't have Sue for every treatment, she always stopped by, and really I wouldn't have wanted to hog her all to myself. Maggie gave me the strength needed to get through it and was there at the very first one, which was the scariest. She needed to do the same for others, as did Sue.
Happy Valentine's Day!