I have a ‘to-do’ list a mile long but here I sit in the semi-darkness as the sun begins to peek over the horizon; we’ve just returned from a week’s shoot in Italy with one day of semi-rest before we were staring down Monday morning. I’m grateful for the quietness in the house as it allows me to gather my thoughts and click out the words on my keyboard – no recipe today but a few of you have sent me notes of encouragement on the loss of our granddaughter Alice; the anniversary of her passing was yesterday and I just wanted to take a moment to say ‘thank you’ for remembering.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since Alice left us and while the loss is still felt deeply, I find her spirit still here – photographs of her share space with the work in my office and we still haven’t changed her bedroom we decorated when she came to visit here for the first time.
But I also want to tell you that we are doing well; the tears come unexpectedly at times and the grief is heavy. But it passes and I lean into the memories of her – the dark pigtails, her dark eyes, her infectious laugh, the swim goggles she wore in the pool, the lace-trimmed white anklets worn with black patent-leathered shoes – and her stubbornness – that girl was made of steel when she wanted things her own way.
Our photo shoot yesterday was with her older brother, Douglas, who also has Cycstic Fibrosis – and at the moment he is doing very well. I knew the day was a hard one for him and we gave him the choice of postponing but he wanted to stay with the schedule; afterwards, we grabbed a burger and fries and shared memories of his sister. He said that when they were little, he took a pot-pie from her – she got mad and pushed the pie into his face – he retaliated by stabbing her in the hand with a fork. He said he felt really bad about the incident and wished he had been a better brother. The Professor and I both shared stories of our own childhood and how we treated our siblings badly, assuring him those kinds of fights were normal.
At the end of our time together, he grabbed me in a tight bear-hug and said, ‘Thank you Oma, for making a really horrible day into a day that is now filled with happy memories.’
Yes Douglas, it was indeed a fine, happy day.
Enjoy your week friends, and bear-hug someone you love.