Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thank You

I just wanted to say thank you to my friends. For all your love and support during the past few months. I have come to rely on you for strength, guidance, support, love and sanity. From Carol, who cannot relate to my situation but gives me unconditional love, shoulders to cry on, ears to listen to me rant and rave and arms to give me hugs that only a best friend can. Who I can have moments of silence with and it's okay.

Then, there's Kim K. Our friendship happened like mine and Carol's, quick. There was just something 'there'. Throughout Mom's last two weeks Kim who just happens to be a nurse put up with my daily calls. She's honest enough to say "that's normal" and "no, they're not blowing smoke up your butt" although she said it more eloquently than I just did. Kim was and continues to be a great source of health information (being a nurse has its benefits), tells me the truth (whether I like to hear it or not), and can relate to my loss. She and her family have quickly become our family.

Then there's Julie. My first friend here at St. Jude's. My first spiritual mentor (or guru as I like to say). Julie never has a harsh word to say. Julie is the voice of reason. The one who when I rant at God, let's me rant, understands my rant, and then reminds me that God loves me no matter what I say, no matter what I do.

Have I ever mentioned Patti? Patti is a chrp (Christ Renews His Parish) sister. When Mom passed she cried with me on the phone. She is a source of God's amazing love. And, one of my very favorite things about Patti is when she says "let's pray" and then she'll break out into the most beautiful prayer you have ever heard. A prayer that truly comes from God. A prayer that seems to set all that's wrong with my heart to right.

Next is Liz from Rainbow Days. Liz, whom I'm just getting to know lost her Mom a little over six months ago. She knows exactly what I'm going through. She has offered her ears and morale support. She has even come to grief support meetings with me as a huge source of support.

Then, there's Liz Brier. from my Tuesday group. What an amazing lady! I see her at church or at adoration and she always has a warm, tight hug waiting for me and a "how are you doing?" And when she asks it is a true how are you doing? Not like the kind you ask people when you see them in the supermarket. She genuinely wants to know how I am. And, she always ends our conversation with "I'm praying for you".

How about Shannon? The greatest gift Shannon gave me was two weeks ago on a Friday night. She calls me up and says "I know it's last minute, but I have to go shopping, do you want to come to North Park Mall with me?" I said gimme ten minutes as I was in my pj's and wanted to throw on some clothes. We went to the mall and then she treated me to dinner. It was the first time since mom passed that I actually felt somewhat normal. She made me laugh. She made me feel like me again, even though it was for a few hours, it was exactly what I needed and a true blessing from God.

And all the way from Steeler Country, Sharon. Sharon is always there with an email or a call to let me know how much she loves me and that all is going to be okay. I was blessed last night to finally get my hug from her that we've been wanting to give each other. She was in town only for the night, but when you're such good friends, sometimes a hug is all that needs said between you.

Then, there is my beloved Jeanne. If you go to St. Jude's then you know who Jeanne is. She is the parish matriarch. The mother to us all. She has listen to me cry, given me books to read (amazingly enough the right book at the right time), has helped me with grief support and genuinely loves me and appreciates me as she loves to tell me. Jeanne makes me feel so special and the great thing about her is she makes everyone feel special.

And, finally, my husband, George. After all, it was his Mom who passed. However, he understands my relationship with Mom. He doesn't look at me funny (much) when I burst out in crying spurts. He constantly gives me unconditional love. And he is truly my best friend, and I couldn't ask for more.

So, to all of you, I give you my thanks. Even though saying thank you doesn't seem nearly enough. But know that I love each of you deeply and thank God for you and your friendships. I am richly blessed because of all of you.


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