Sunday, July 18, 2010

The First Year

July 13, 2009: Saying good-bye.
So began a year when life as I'd known it came to a screeching halt. I've posted these pictures to remind myself that God is/has been/will be faithful, and that friends and family are the most precious gift He gives us on this earth.
In August 2009, a precious friend let me use her Maine home for some much-needed time away. Thank you, Kathy.
My children and Loyal Sister helped me set up my first grade classroom, which soon contained the most wonderful children (and attentive parents) on the entire campus. Thank you Bumblebee parents for all your patience, love and support this year. Your children blessed me daily.
Kansas City Marathon/5K in honor of Dave. Thank you Steinochers for blending me into your family and surrounding me with your love.
Oklahoma City Women of Faith Conference with three of my favorite women of faith: friends since high school who let me talk and cry and process this year. Thank you Adrienne, MaryAnn and Pat for walking beside me this year. (And Jennifer! I know you were there in spirit.)
Thanksgiving weekend brought members of my church to paint my house. (And that front door? It is now RED!) Thank you Arnett and Heriford families for meeting my practical needs.
The day after Thanksgiving for early morning shopping with friends. (Not sure I should thank you for the cost of this little excursion!)
Christmas in Missouri with Young Son, Married Daughter and Loyal Son-in-Law and his extended family. (Have I mentioned a time or a million that my friend's son married my daughter? Made it easy to blend these families together for holidays...) Thank you real family and faux family for getting me through the holiday.
My first white Christmas...except it is too cold to breathe! Thank you God, for serendipities throughout this year.

Happy New Year 2010. Thank you first graders for giving me hugs and high fives all year.
A birthday/slumber party held at my house for a former student who grew up way too fast! Thank you, Meg and friends, for  a wonderful weekend.
Meeting a reader of this blog who flew to Houston from Canada for a Beth Moore conference. Thank you, Lynn, for all your helpful advice this year. You made the path a little smoother.
A high school aide who helped in my classroom each week. Thank you, Miss Haley, for giving extra joy to our classroom. (Good luck at A&M next year!)
Meeting sorority sisters in Crawford, Texas. Thank you Kaye, Gayla and Debbie for all the laughter and good memories.
O'Brien's Bumblebees ready to rumble on Sports Day. Thank you 19 six-year old best friends for making my world a happy place each day.

A Spring Break trip to Pennsylvania. Married Daughter had just moved a few miles from Dave's brother and sister, and his oldest daughter, Heather, drove down from D.C. to see us all. Thank you Kevin, April, Heather and Katy for helping me keep Dave's memories alive.
Another Delta Chi Rho reunion. Thanks Debbie, Kaye and Sonya for making time for memories.
Elton John in April. Thanks Loyal Sister Renee for walking close by my side all year.
NEW YORK!!! in April with Quality Friend, Connie, and three of my former kindergartners. Thanks Rachel, Celeste and Gracie for letting me be your chaperone and seeing the bright lights of the Big City with you.
Young Son graduates from College! Thanks Chris and Katy for remembering the importance of family.
Ireland in June. Thanks Bonnie for taking me on the trip of a lifetime.
Seattle/Canada with Married Daughter. Thanks, Katy, for helping me mark the end of this year with laughter and happy memories.

I look at these pictures and see so much love and laughter. In private, I also know there were many tears shed. 

I am ready to cross the line into the next year without Dave remembering the good times and holding him close in my heart.

Thank you, Bloggy Community, for walking this incredibly difficult year alongside me. You've blessed me so. Let's keep seeking out the Joy in the Journey.


Dawn said...

What a nice list of memories! I really enjoyed the pictures of your Seattle/Canada trip that were posted on FB.

Let me know if you have time for a cup of coffee, tea, or a meal before heading into the next school year.


Lynn said...

What a great way to remember the year! I just love those 2010 glasses and the sweet face they are on. You are surrounded by love and friendship and I agree family and friends are God's greatest gift to us on earth. Praying the year ahead will be filled with blessing and joy in the journey!

kstein said...

couldn't have said it any better myself. I love you, and I'm so proud of you. As I have watched you this last year, I have seen God's goodness and grace like never before in your life. I am so thankful for friends that have surrounded you and been there when I could not. Looking forward to a new chapter of life, not forgetting, but honoring a life well lived and seeking out God's heart in the journey.

There really IS joy in the journey. Love you momma. You are a great companion on the road of life.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

God is good. May he bless and keep you through the next year and all the years to come.