Friday, December 21, 2007
Isn't Jesus the reason for the season?
Julia and her sweet friend, Kim.
Our three little ones.
The kids sang happy birthday to Jesus.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Funny story of the day: When we were parking the car, a woman attendant came to collect our money. She commented on how cold she was standing outside all day. After I gave her the money Julia said, "Mom, why did you give her money? Is she collecting money to buy herself a coat?"
We lit candles for Danny's Mom and Dad.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I really liked Joe because Joe really liked me. He never treated me like some pesky little sister. I remember the night of that Christmas party, Joe invited me to sit on the couch next to him and sing Christmas carols even though I was in a no good bad mood and didn't want to sing. Just that gesture of him including me made me feel good. That was Joe. He was kind. He was the "good" one in his very large family of ten kids. He never got into trouble. Joe was also the only one at the party to show up in a suit but that was him. He loved the holidays, especially Christmas.
That Christmas one of my gifts was the game Perfection. For weeks after Christmas, Joe would play that game with me and we would have competitions as to who would get the better time before the pieces popped out all over the place. Even today when I play that game with my kids, I think of Joe and our competitions.
After Joe and my sister graduated high school, we didn't see much of Joe anymore. He went into the service and eventually became a state trooper in New Hampshire, got married and had a son.
I remember the last time I saw Joe. He was in his twenties by then and just stopped by my Mom's house with another friend to visit. We sat at our kitchen table and played cards with my mom, just like the old days. I had not seen him in years but he was as handsome and happy as ever. He had this great infectious smile and such a wonderful joy for life.
Fast forward to November of 1989. Joe was 28 years old with an 8-month old son. He was killed in the line of duty in a car accident as he and another officer were transporting a prisoner. Crazy how I've outlived him by so many years now. I visit his grave each spring as he is buried near my foster brother, Glenn.
My family loved Joe. We were all there for him at the end praying for him to pull through. And when he didn't, we were all there to pay respect to him and his family at his funeral along with hundreds of police officers.
I know you are in heaven shining down on all of us. This was truly your favorite time of the year and I just want you to know that our family will always think of you with great affection, and never forget you, your kindness or your passion for life.
You were good...like perfection. Merry Christmas Joe. :)
Joseph Gearty 1961-1989
Saturday, December 08, 2007
This is Nicholas' first ornament from 2001. After waiting years and years for his arrival, I couldn't wait to hang this on our tree. He was four months old his first Christmas.
We had no idea that the very next Christmas we would be hanging another baby ornament on the tree. Julia was also four months old for her first Christmas.
This ornament was given to me by an old boyfriend's sister-in-law. I thought it was such a sweet gesture.
My friend Sandy gave me this ornament after living in Vienna for a time.
My sister Kim and I have a tradition of going shopping some place fun just days before Christmas each year. My sister bought this one for me on one of those trips.
And this is my favorite ornament. The cradle. It was given to me by my dear friend Joann who helped me through those dark days of infertility. She gave it to me as a symbol of hope. She said her grandmother used to give a cradle ornament to her grandchildren when they were just married with hopes of having children someday. It guess it really works...
Saturday, December 01, 2007
One day out of the blue the name of this girl, Denise, popped into my head. I used to teach her dance at my sister's studio when she was a young girl. I'm sure she must be in her late twenties by now. I have not thought about this girl in years and years. I thought about how beautiful she was and how much I enjoyed teaching her. That's it. Then the thoughts were gone. A few days later, my sister called to tell me that she heard from friends that Denise was engaged to be married and her fiance had died suddenly.
On another day I randomly thought about this girl, Diane, that I was friends with in grade school. I didn't hang around with her much after that although we did graduate high school together. I haven't seen her or spoken to her since high school. My thoughts were about how we used to play together as kids and that was it. The thoughts were gone. The next day my dad called to tell me that he had gone to physical therapy the day before. And guess who his physical therapist was...this girl Diane.
Yesterday, out of the blue I was thinking about Danny's friend Mark and his wife. She is pregnant with their third child. Although I know Mark very well, I really don't know his wife very well. I was thinking about how with each pregnancy they have the ultrasound technician write down the sex of the baby and put it into an envelope. When they go home they give the envelope to her father to open. I was thinking how it was a little strange to me but who am I to be critical of her relationship with her dad? I was thinking about how close they must be and how important it is for her to have her dad know first. Then a few hours later the phone rang. It was Danny calling to tell me that Mark had just called him to say his father-in-law has terminal cancer. He has less than a year to live.
How does this happen?