I hope you are all doing well. Thanks again for all the support you have given us. We are so grateful. We have been doing alright, not great. I think it gets harder every day that passes. I seemed to have so much strength right after Lauren passed that got me through the calling hours and funeral. Now that reality has set in, I am having a much harder time. Realizing you won't see or hear your daughter until you pass away yourself is very difficult to deal with. We had so many plans and they are now all gone. Mark and Gio are having just as difficult a time. Ryan kind of holds things inside and Sis and Bruce try to keep busy. My Mom rarely cries and I have seen her cry more times in the past weeks than in my whole life. Everyone loved dear, sweet Wo and we will miss her so much. It is going to take a long time to be happy again. My friend, Debbie, came over last week and we walked around my neighborhood. I had a hard time keeping up with her and she had on flip flops!! She is such a great friend and it was nice to talk with her. Mark and I went to Summit Memorials last week and got ideas for Lauren's grave marker. I will keep it a secret until I unveil it here. It is going to be beautiful and I know Wo would love it. We are going to go back this Wed. and order it. It will take 6-8 weeks to be finished and at the cemetery they only pour the cement footers in Sept./Oct. or in the spring. So it will be a while before Wo gets her stone. I have a bunch of stuff at her grave right now until her stone is set. Mark and I go there every day. We had a nice time this past weekend when we went to Kristen's graduation from residency. We left a little after noon on Sat. and Gio went with us. Ryan is on vacation in North Carolina with Stephanie's family.We got to Bruce and Kristen's at about 3:30. My Mom and Dad and sister, Linda were already there. We all put on our dress clothes and went to the venue, a large ballroom at U of M. It was gorgeous and they really pulled out all the stops. There was an open bar and delicious appetizers. Kristen and her classmates went down the hall to another beautiful room for a group pic. I snuck in and took a few pics myself. Dinner was delicious. Most of us had filets, but my Mom and Mark had salmon. We had a fancy mango cheesecake for dessert. There was a program after dinner where awards were passed out and each resident was called up to receive their diploma and we were told what their plans were. Most were going to be doing fellowships, but some like Kristen are going into private practice. Kristen and the other three Chief Residents all gave nice speeches. We were busting with pride. There were also two slide shows. One was for Dr. Sanford, the program director for anesthesia, who is retiring after holding the position for 22 years. He seems like such a wonderful man. The next slide show was of all the residents. They each submitted pictures for this. Some were really funny and some were sad, especially the one Kristen put in of her and Lauren. That made my Mom really sad and she was crying. We saw a few of the many doctors that took care of Lauren when she was in the hospital. We made sure to thank them all for the great care they had given to Wo. The program was over around 10:00 and we headed back to Kristen's to change our clothes and were on our way home. Kristen and Bruce went out and whooped it up with all their pals. We didn't get home until around 2:00 am. Poor Mark had to stop a few times for coffee on the way home. Gio stayed overnight at our house and we went to breakfast at Farmer Boy in the morning. We stopped at a garden center and got two beautiful rose bushes on the way home and also stopped at the cemetery to say hi to Wo. Gio went swimming with us, then left later because he had a golf date with the men in his family. It was so good to see him and spend time with him. That is about it for the update. We are trying to get used to our new normal, but I have a feeling it is going to take a very long time if we ever get used to things. Please, all of you, try and be patient and kind to those that you love. To everyone for that matter. Things can change so fast. Never pass up a chance to say "I love you". We tell our kids all the time how much we love them and are comforted in knowing that Wo knew she was loved so much. Here are a few pics from Sis's graduation. Until next time...
|Grandma Tommie and Papa Ron!!|
|The always photogenic, Aunt Linda!!|
|Sis and her best friends, Lisa, Becca, and Meredith.|
|The U of M Anesthesia Residency Class of 2013!!!!|
|Proud parents with our Sissy!!|
|The happy couple, Sis and Bruce!!|
|Very proud grandparents with Sis! Sorry about my arm in the shot.|