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Once upon a time

Friday, January 25, 2013

Once upon a time, we were all young. In this photo are two young moms and their dressed up little ones. It was taken at my wedding reception in 1981, by my dad. In it you see on the left, my sister and her daughter, on the right, my groom's sister and her daughter. I always thought of those two babies as two standards of beauty, and I have always loved this picture.

Overnight Wednesday, the mom on the right hugged her now grown, strong woman of a daughter good-bye for the last time, and continued on her journey spiritward. My niece called first my ex, yesterday morning, and a while later me.

As I have observed in the past, my first reaction to huge news is "I can keep working"... I'll just drive on. Five or ten minutes later, it becomes the to-do list... who I need to call. What I should do about relatives who may not be on my niece's first-call list... etc. I had trouble contacting my son right away, and finally accepted that no, this is not something I want to do here... and left work for the day.

I ended up having a long conversation with my ex, remembering his sister as a young, vibrant, capable single mom, courageous and strong. Remembering her as a grandmother, me tagging along as she took her granddaughter to the symphony kids' concert, or out to our local broadway musical in the park in Summertime. He reminisced on a trip they took together in 1999 back to some places of special meaning to them as children, in upper Michigan.

Later, as I was climbing into bed, my son was able to call and we chatted. While he's sorry he won't make it in time for a service (kind of hard to speed up military de-mobilization, and they likely would not for other than a parent, spouse or child), we knew this day would come a long time in advance and made sure he visited his aunt before he left. What he really would like right now is to get home to hug his cousin, and that will happen in its own good time.

So, as he told me, he'll be OK, I should take care of the others.

Anyway, on the Spark front, believe it or not, all that food tantrum stuff that went on for a couple of weeks? Kind of got the tar slapped out of it and I've been back on track for three full days, today would be the fourth. Exercise / training got really dialed back to the line in the sand, but I'm holding that line.

We shall see where I end up in a week or so, motivationally. 2013 could end up looking quite different from 2012... but, you know what? That's OK. This is LIFE. And life is good.

Spark on my friends, I'll be OK. Really. emoticon emoticon emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thinking of you emoticon
    1786 days ago
    I am truly sorry for your sadness and grief. I hope you continue to find comfort in your memories and family.
    1787 days ago
    One day at a time, sweetie... That's a truly lovely picture.
    1787 days ago
  • _LINDA
    That is a wonderful photo and a great way to remember her. Wise choice to take off work, something you need is your privacy at a time like that.Its so very sad when a person dies before their time :(
    Thinking of you as you deal with the emotional after effects in the coming weeks, months and years..
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1787 days ago
    I'll be thinking of you the next few days.
    1787 days ago
    Sorry for your loss, my thoughts are with you.
    1787 days ago
    My condolences
    1787 days ago
  • LADYBUG1943
    What a nice way to honor your sister in law. I loved the picture, too. The ease and suddenness in which a person leaves this life is astonishing. My mother died Valentines Day, 2012, and just the other day I was thinking something and my first instinct was to call and ask Mother (she didn't like being called "Mom"). She's just gone. Hard to understand for your sister in law, too, expected or not.

    1787 days ago
    Prayers for you, your sister-in-law and the entire extended family. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1787 days ago
  • ANDI571
    Lots of hugs my dear spark friend emoticon emoticon
    1788 days ago
    So sorry for your loss. Glad you got off work and took some time -- to think and memorialize and appreciate and process. The picture is lovely and memories are cherished, so rightlly. In a way it is too bad that the emotions of this gloriously happy time of your son's return is mixed with this difficult loss. Your attitude about it being life is right and good. Life is good. So glad you'll be okay. Glad you are back on track, too. With your encouragement and support, and your modeling handling the really tough stuff, I Spark On!! -Marsha
    1788 days ago
    emoticon emoticon Sending Extra Hugs and Prayers to You & Your Family. So glad that you were able to talk to Your Son, I know that was a Comfort.
    emoticon Some parts of this Good Life still Stink! and losing Loved Ones is one of those Stinky Times - even though it may be a Blessing for her, and we do know Good-Bye is Not Forever.
    1788 days ago
    1788 days ago
    Loved ones passing is always heartbreaking. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing woman's story. Prayers for the family.
    1788 days ago
    many thoughts and prayers. I love the photo as well and a great way to remember her.
    1788 days ago
    This is not only life - as you've told me time and again - this is GOOD life!
    emoticon Suncday?
    1788 days ago
  • GABY1948
    I am so sorry for your loss, but I truly believe that God can make GOOD things come from bad! Have a blessed weekend, Barb
    1788 days ago
  • DALID414
    1788 days ago
    My condolences to you and yours, Barb. You wrote a touching blog and gave us a small glimpse into her/your lives "once upon a time."

    Glad to hear you're back on track and doing well. One day at a time, right? Here' to a different (but exciting!) adventure in 2013!
    1788 days ago
    What a beautiful tribute to a woman who meant so much to you! I am saddened by your loss but heartened by the way you choose to remember.
    1788 days ago
    Prayers for you and your family.
    1788 days ago
  • DEBRA0818
    A light has gone out of the world and extinguished in a very difficult way. It is a testimony to love and the human spirit that plans are being made to share memories and exchange love and the light that was your sister-in-law gets rekindled in others.

    God bless, her, you, your family and her family and all whose lives are touched by illness, sadness and loss today.

    1788 days ago
    Awwww, Barb. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It is so hard -- beyond words.

    I am so glad that you got to talk w/your son, and that he got to see his Aunt before he left. Even more happy that he'll be home. **SIGH** Yup, the wheels of the military turn s-l-o-w-l-y.

    Wrapping my arms around you and giving you a huge hug. It's not much, I know, but hope it helps.

    1788 days ago
    What a beautiful picture and memory! I love how you were able to share some memories with you ex that day. It makes one realize how important family time is. I am happy that you have so many of your sister-n-law. I will keep your family in my prayers.
    1788 days ago
  • KANOE10
    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. She sounded like a wonderful person. You were wise to leave work. Take care of your self while you are helping others. Life is good and we should appreciate all of our precious moments.

    1788 days ago
  • MIRAGE727
    It's times like these, when all we can do is stay strong and focused. We also celebrate life for those who no longer can't. And we look for comfort spiritually. I try to draw strength from it all. You are in my prayers, Barb.
    1788 days ago
    So sorry for your loss. While you're taking care of others, please remember to take care of your needs, too. emoticon
    1788 days ago
    Sorry about your loss and hugs to all the family and especially your niece and her family. HUGS
    1788 days ago
    Sorry to hear about your loss.
    Keep taking that one step forward and you'll be okay.
    1788 days ago
    My sympathy to you and the family. You are doing
    everything you can to help your niece and I am sure
    she appreciates your efforts.
    Life always changes and we need to change with it.
    Have a great day. HUGS!
    1788 days ago
    Expected or not, death of a loved one is always a shock. Sorry for your loss and congrats for staying on track during this time of turmoil
    1788 days ago
    So sorry about your loss. Grief is a very personal thing.
    1788 days ago
  • MAGGIE101857
    Barb, I'm saddened to hear our your family's loss; she sounds like she was a wonderful person; she left this earth knowing she was loved dearly. emoticon

    On the Spark front, glad to hear that you back on track, and perhaps in your spare time, you could slap the tar out of me??? emoticon emoticon
    1788 days ago
    Congrats Barb for getting back on track--Life is short----We are reminded daily of this--Nice picture! ------Families are so important eh?------as is healthy eating and exercise--and falling off the track sometimes!---The number of times you fall down is irrelevant. The number of times you have the courage to get back up is what matters!
    Spark said that! emoticon Lynda
    1788 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/25/2013 6:59:32 AM
  • JGRAY76
    So sorry to hear of your loss but it sounds like you are doing OK. You are right, this is life.
    1788 days ago
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