Monday, August 27, 2012


I could probably put together 5 new posts for sure before the sun goes down today, if I took the time to just write all my thoughts.  Don't worry, I probably won't, but I could.

So, I had mentioned in another post, that I am on this inadvertent timeline - counting down the events from last year, and what we did with Catelyn.  I'm on a countdown of 'lasts', if you will.

Even though Catelyn died on September 11th, in it's own way, this is the week of lasts.

Yesterday marked the 'last' time that Catelyn sat in her pew at church.  At the church we belong to, we all sort of have our 'own' spot.  Some people actually call others out for being in their spot.  It wasn't that way for us, but we did have a favorite pew on the far right side, up towards the front...maybe 4-5 rows up from the piano.  On the last Sunday of August 2011, I was scheduled to sing a duet for special music.  I wasn't sure how Catelyn would react.   She'd heard me sing her whole life long, but I had this feeling that part way through the song, I'd have a little girl running up the aisle, wanting to share snuggle and singing time with her mom.  I was wrong about her reaction, which was okay (though secretly, I wanted her to run up the aisle to me!).  She sat quietly and never looked up that I saw.  She was happily tucked between her grandma and daddy on the cushion of the pew, scribbling on her knock-off, star shaped magna-doodle, which she absolutely adored.  When I was done singing, she briefly looked up and went right back to what she was doing.

Aside from two funerals (one of which was Catelyn's), I have only been back for one service at that church.  It's too hard to go and sit where we once sat, and I really don't want to sit anywhere else.

On the last Tuesday (I think) in August 2011, my parents came up for a nearly week-long visit with our family.  My husband picked Catelyn up from daycare, and brought her home saying 'grandma and grandpa are here!'  My parents say that she came charging into the room and then stopped in her tracks and looked closely at them because they weren't the grandparents she had envisioned.  (I can imagine her stopping, but the part that I think they leave out is her still running in to say hi.  She knew very well, who my parents were, and she loved spending time with them).

My parents are going to come up here this weekend.  I am looking forward to seeing them again - it's been since April (wait, no, it was May, because we all went down to surprise them for their 40th wedding anniversary!).  I imagine that the memories, for all of us, will be challenging.  Catelyn was an amazing girl. 

As these 'lasts' continue, it all becomes real again....Catelyn's death.  At her birthday it was hard, but with this upcoming anniversary, it is especially real.  The loss is always with us, but there is something about approaching these particular dates that just reminds me of how real her death is. 

I miss that girl so much.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Give blood, give hope

This is my plug for the American Red Cross

Tomorrow, my husband and I will be sponsoring a blood drive in Catelyn's name.  We have a list of over 30 people who are giving blood at places other than our drive, and we know that at least 50 are already signed up to donate at our drive, and we have over 30 people signed up to help us run the drive.

It's overwhelming.

Simply put, we cannot begin to fathom the response we've seen from friends, family, and even strangers, who want to save lives in Catelyn's name.  We have received all kinds of food and juice donations, we have friends and family traveling from other states, and it seems like every time we turn around another person is getting involved in some way. 

It's amazing.

Catelyn received two blood transfusions last fall.  She would have been a candidate to receive more, but her disease entered her bloodstream and took her life.  I have a friend who just endured five transfusions, and I am happy to report she is finally back home after a grueling stay in the hospital.  We cannot predict the future to know if we will ever need a transfusion, but what we do know is that blood transfusions give hope, no matter what the outcome is. 

So, the next time you find yourself with an hour to spare, please consider donating blood.  If you cannot donate yourself, please consider spreading the word.