Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Fourth of July . . .and six months

I married into a large extended family - and I love it.  It can be overwhelming at times but I still love it.  We've been celebrating the Fourth of July holiday together with some of Mark's first cousins and their families for as long as I can remember - since our kids were small.  Mark's cousin, Mollie, and her husband Roger have a place on Lake Mitchell and they graciously invite us to invade their space for the day.  We've dragged all sorts of folks with us - from friends of the kids to my nephew to a children's intern at Trinity - what was her name??  Mollie always graciously welcomes us all.

This year was different.  This was our first year without Nancy.  We still had fun being together but we were all keenly aware of her absence.  Goodness gracious, we miss her.  This grieving business is hard work.  Mollie and Roger have not been spending much time at the lake so imagine her surprise when she opened a cabinet and there on top of the paper plates . . .as if it had been gently placed there . . . was an appointment card written in Nancy's own handwriting.  It was like a tiny piece of Nancy - letting us all know that she was indeed with us.  I thought there would be lots of tears but I was amazed.  We laughed a lot.  Nancy would have loved that.

I cannot tell you how many hours Nancy and I sat in chairs down by the water - sunbathing and watching the kids . . .and also in the water . . .floating around on noodles . . .just fyi - we talked about everything.  Sometimes I felt like surely we were going to solve all the problems of the world in our chats.

We were unable to go to Mollie's last year.  The house and property had sustained some major damage in one of the tornadoes.  This picture was taken two years ago.  We also have always spent much time in this little glassed in room - collapsing in a chair in the air conditioned space after getting too much sun or after eating too much homemade ice cream.

So . . .the six month part of the title . . .it has been six months this week since Nancy left us.  Oh my goodness.  I've watched the girls - some from afar and some from up close.  Nancy would be so very proud.  They all have her strong will.  They are all standing upright.  They are all smiling.  They are all successful.  She would be so very proud.  Yes, she would be so very proud.  We miss her so much.  Just finding the pictures for the blog and sitting here typing has made that wave of "I miss you" wash over me.

This picture of Nancy was taken in 2012.  A few of us gathered together at Edgar's at the Colonnade to celebrate her birthday.  She looked especially beautiful that day, didn't she?

This picture was taken not even a year ago - in September - at her surprise party.  Oh Suzan Brandt - you were such a wise woman and I am so thankful that you planned this party for your sunday school class to celebrate Nancy (and that you invited us to celebrate, too).

Nancy - we miss you lots!  Give Jesus a hug from all of us.  Thank God that we will meet again some day!!

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