In Target last week I ran into Sue, a delightful, uplifting woman with whom I taught before moving to PA and having kids. Sue saw me through Mom having the stroke. She saw me through the raw beginning steps of the 11 year process of dealing with the ups and downs of life of a daughter of a stroke patient. We love Sue.
As we briefly talked, one of the first things Sue said was "I miss your Mom."
Now, Sue had never met Mom face to face. All of her knowledge came through lengthy emails and eventually through this blog. Early on Sue printed all my emails, placed them in a fun red folder, and said I needed to write a book about our family's experiences in dealing with a stroke in our family. That was close to 12 years ago. Sue misses my Mom because I haven't written about Mom since May and certainly not as often as I had since Mom died. Note taken.
I remember asking the social worker assigned to Mom while she did her initial physical, occupational and speech therapy at Chambersburg Hospital "Is there a book out there I can read, like My Mom Had a Stroke Now What Do I Do?'" He replied no and handed me all his pamphlets explaining how a stroke happens and treatment, nothing personalized. I vowed I would write a book to personalize the experience...and here I am 12 years later, no book.
Sue and I exchanged hugs and stories and went on our way. Remember Sue.
About a month ago a sweaty, well-dressed man knocked on my door and I actually answered it. Dave was going door-to-door because he is taking over the local Edward Jones office. He asked if I was interested in talking with him about our finances. I was interested and he took down my name and number. He called me last week and left a voicemail message. I called him back yesterday. John answered the phone, I explained why I was calling and he asked for my name. After spelling my last name for him he calmly said,
"Do you have any connections to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania?"
"Yes I do." My mind started to race.
"Do you have any connections to the St. Mary's County Public Schools?"
"Yes I do." My thoughts froze in my brain.
"My wife's name is Sue."
I was speechless. Right away I was grasping at the meaning behind this serendipitous moment. What was The Universe trying to convey by knocking me over the head with Sue and her missing Mom?
Time to update the blog.
Time to think about that book.
One step at a time, just doing the next right thing.
Here's Seven on Saturday, that's going to be my first step.
This one goes out to Sue and John, thanks for your support and encouragement.
We lived in a one bedroom apartment when we were between homes in the summer of 2015. Julie was 6 years old and getting ready to go to a party. Somehow she was on Youtube and saw the directions to make a Lady Gaga bow in her hair. I followed the directions and Julie was pleased. The pink dress was a birthday dress I had made for her. When all was said and done, that dress ended up having rips and tears and bicycle grease all over the bottom cause she wore the heck out of that thing. My girl was fancy and tough, still is.
Summer of 2015 I took Mom shopping at WalMart. She would wheel into the store in her own transport wheelchair then prop her feet up on the undercarriage of the store cart. I would precariously push Mom's chair while she pushed the cart. This is Mom's look for "I don't understand all you young people with taking all the pictures with your phone. Put that phone away cause we have some BUSINESS to take care of in this place."
Still in the one bedroom apartment in the summer of 2015. Joseph was 7 years old and figured out how to make certain musical sounds with his armpit. The pure joy he expressed over this feat caused my face to hurt, I was smiling so hard. Pure little boy joy.
Auntie Lisa took Julie to a festival at the local community college and texted me this pic. Look at those cheeks, my little girl.
Halloween 2015. Julie was Jasmine cause we found the high-end costume at the thrift store. Joe wanted to be Stampy Cat from a Minecrafter that they were obsessed with watching.
Mike created the costume to Joe's specifications. He used boxes from Radonworxs, the radon mitigation company that we rented our second story apartment from. Note the RadonAway box used for the head,
Since we lived above a business on a busy street, we went to my dear friend Kathy's neighborhood to trick or treat. Scroll back up top the first Halloween pic. Note the boxes on Joe's legs. They lasted to the end of Kathy's short driveway. Joe ended up ditching the whole costume except the head cause he kept falling. We adapted and Joe still got plenty of compliments.