Archive for the ‘Dara’s inspirations’ Category
One of Ellen’s MANY projects is Refugee Artisans of Worcester (RAW) whose mission is to identify refugee artisans and assist them to self-sufficiency through the sale of their art. There was recently an article published in the Worcester Magazine (where Ellen and Richard live). check it out
(I’m sorry, in advance, for the debbie downer post I’m about to write)
As you know, Mom, growing up I was very close with my friend Crystal . . . and if anyone is a close friend to Crystal that meant they were close friends with her big sister, Kimi. They were two peas in a pod, whether they wanted to be or not. They were as close as two people could be . . . even as they grew older and started to live their own lives.
A few weeks ago, when Kimi’s health took a turn for the worst, Crystal reached out to all of her friends and family members for stories, inspirational quotes, pictures, etc. that she could share with Kimi. I sent her the following note.
I don’t know what it’s like to have a sister but I can imagine that the thought of losing her feels like you will also lose a part of yourself. I remember coming over to your house and spending hours with you and Kimi . . . talking about boys and shopping and fashion. I loved going to the mall with you and her and all of our friends. Riding in the van . . . going out to eat . . . she was always so giving . . . buying things for everyone else. I also remember spending nights at Immaculata and being so impressed at the awesome friends she had made there. She never let her condition stop her from living . . . from graduating from high school and then college . . . from beating all odds. It’s truly inspiring.
It’s unfair that some of us get to walk around . . . drive cars . . . write on a keyboards using two hands while others struggle to do . . . well, everything. It’s heartbreaking to know that her life on Earth will be short but she will continue to live on through all of you. She will be with other loved ones and will be able to walk freely and eat all of her favorite foods and shop at her favorite stores and be able to spend her days at peace.
Kimi is inspiring but so are you and her other constant companions. Part of the reason she is such a fighter is because she has incredible champions of strength around her every day. You all have given her a life that has been full of love, adventure, laughter and tears of joy . . . and in turn she has given you the same. I wish you peace to remember those moments now instead of her in her current state.
Please tell Kimi that I will continue to pray for her and will think of her always . . . just as I have since meeting her decades ago. She is the type of person that leaves an imprint on your heart . . . one that will not fade with time. Please give her a kiss from me.
Kimi lost her 35 year battle with muscular dystrophy this past Friday. The viewing was last night and service was today. I couldn’t make it but have been thinking about her and Crystal and their family constantly. Even when I didn’t even know I was . . . everyone was asked to wear pink to the funeral today, since that was Kimi’s favorite color . . . I was going to wear pink to work today to honor her but totally forgot when I was getting ready this morning and walked out the door in my normal black on black on black . . . but something made me go back and get a pink scarf to jazz my outfit up a little bit . . . it wasn’t until I was on the subway that I realized who made me go back and grab it.
Also while on the subway this morning I read about a family in Cali that lost their 3.5 year old little boy on Friday and I can’t get it out of my mind. The little boy’s name is Ryan and his mom has a blog that is very well followed. He was at a family members house and was playing frisbee . . . ran into the street to grab it and a truck killed him instantly. (ugh, i know . . . makes you feel sick to your stomach – their best friend posted the story here :().
Since then the blogging/mommy instagram community has rallied around his parents providing support, donations for his service, sharing pictures of them, just letting them know that we are all aching for them as well. They created the hashtag #redballonsforryan and so far 19k pictures have been posted using that hashtag. Its incredible.
So today, I just wanted to spend some time remembering Kimi . . . and thinking of Ryan . . . and their families. Sending them strength and support as they navigate their new lives without their loved ones.
It’s amazing how much witnessing the miracle of life can also make you truly understand the incomprehensible grief that comes with death of a child. Going to give Julian a lot of extra kisses tonight.
Mike is on his way up to Jamestown right now. A friend of ours from there lost her battle with cancer earlier this week and the service is today. A friend that lived her forty three years on this earth to the fullest . . . one that I can’t recall ever having anything but a smile on her face . . . one that was an incredible mother to four beautiful children and loving wife, sister and daughter. My heart just aches for her family to have to say goodbye.
As he was driving up he found out that another great friend of ours, from Jamestown, is in the hospital having their second baby . . . five weeks early.
Our little Jamestown crew is going to have such a mix of emotions today.
I feel helpless sitting at my desk instead of holding by sweet husband’s hand while he says goodbye to a friend . . . instead of hugging Julie’s family members while I tell them that I’m so sorry for their loss . . . instead of being there to get an early glimpse of the newest member of our Jamestown posse.
I feel helpless but grateful. Grateful to have known Julie, grateful to have a husband that will get up at five in the morning (after a full day of throwing up) to drive four hours to show his respect and support, grateful that I will get to see my son experience the wonder of Jamestown and the love from our special group of friends there, grateful that every day I am given the gift of 84,600 seconds to live my beautiful life.
When life brings you unbearable sorrow . . . joy usually follows in one form or another.
I think I’m going to watch The Voice this season . . . how amazing are these two performances?!
Have you seen pictures of Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen’s house in LA?! OMG . . .
The full article can be found here (of course the house is fully sustainable and they have an amazing fruit and veggie garden and hen-house and live in Brentwood . . . which is my dream).
My Valentines Day didn’t start out that great. I landed at Newark (from San Francisco) around 12:30 this morning. Getting on that flight was pretty much a miracle. There was a small window where flights were allowed to come into New York and after running all around SFO going from one gate to another just to get disappointed when I was greeted with the huge words CANCELLED on every departure gate I finally found one that said ON TIME . . . and by some miracle they had an open seat for me. The flight was FULL of turbulence and the landing (in the middle of a blizzard) was sketchy to say the least. The scariest part was the cab ride home. Because of the blizzard, only a few cars were allowed on the road so each cab had multiple people/stops. Mine (after sliding ALL OVER the NJ turnpike) made two stops in the city before making the trek over the bridge to my stop. I finally got out of the cab (AT 3 AM!), grabbed my bags and ran inside. The second I shut the door to our apartment my heartbeat slowed, my shoulders lowered. I was home . . . with my sleeping boys . . . the loves of my life.
That journey home is a lot like falling in love. You are sometimes desperate to find it . . . running all over the place . . . just trying to be at the right place at the right time. After you find it, the journey is hard and scary at times . . . really pushes you to your limits and then . . . you’re home. You feel comforted and settled and content and healthy and complete.
Over the past 10.5 years I have gone through that journey three times. The most recent were with these two. It’s hard for me to put into words what they mean to me. They are both my little boys and they make me smile and laugh and be grateful for my life everyday.
. . . and then of course is my forever Valentine . . . my incredible husband (that got me a million cards, flowers and chocolate). He opened my heart in a way I never knew was possible 10.5 years ago. Together we’ve built a life that has certainly had “turbulence” and “slippery roads “. . . but also one full of love, gratitude and adventure.
So while today is Valentines Day . . . everyday for me is about those journeys and the love that I have for my friends and family. Happy Valentine’s Day mom (and anyone else that happens to read this :))! xoxo
I’m OVER THE SNOW AND WINTER! Ugh! Why do I live in the Northeast?!?! WHY!? For years I’ve wanted to move to sunny California . . . especially because of days like these. Maybe some day we will but until then I’ll just live vicariously through Patrick Dempsey. He has the most amazing Malibu house that was featured in Architectural Digest.