Tuesday, December 18, 2007

And On We Go

As we move ever closer to Christmas, we've had all sorts of things going on around here.

There's the obligatory visit to the fat man. This was a couple of weeks ago. A local realtor arranged for the big guy to visit our community center.

This would be P explaining that when he brought all the furniture and figures for her Dora house last year, Santa did not bring Dora's dog and could he please bring it this year.

And here's Jo trying to make it clear that she doesn't care what Santa brings her, she just wants him to go away.

Here are the girls by the Christmas tree.

And Jo on her own by the tree.

And finally, just to get away from all the cute Christmas pictures, a picture that is not for the squeamish. P lost another tooth on Saturday. Have you ever seen a child so thrilled to be bleeding from her mouth?

This occurred Saturday evening. After being at the church for 4 hours in preparation for and attending Janet's service, I came straight home at 2:00 and put on my jammies. That would be me just barely in the picture on the left trying to stop the bleeding while P just wanted the moment captured on "film". She cracks me up.

Janet's service was wonderful, as I knew it would be. One thing about Episcopalian funerals, they are quite a celebration of the person's life. It was standing room only. We were squeezed into the pews cheek to cheek with a lot of people standing in the back. It speaks volumes about Janet and her life.

So, on we go. A week until Christmas. Shopping to do. Family to see. Friends with whom to have "breakfast for dinner on Christmas Eve eve". All dear moments to enjoy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Our Dear Janet

Where do I start? This summer, our dear friend Janet found out she had leukemia. She went into the hospital June 26. Aside from a short 1 or 2 day visit to her home, she has been in the hospital ever since.

Until today. Today she left the hospital. To use MB's eloquence, "Janet passed peacefully into larger life this morning just before 8:00 a.m."

At the beginning of November, she had a stem cell transplant. Around Thanksgiving, we received word that Janet would be leaving the hospital the following week. There was much rejoicing. Then, there was a delay. Then another delay. And another. Turns out that the leukemia, despite rounds and rounds of horrible chemo, never completely went away. Add to that, her body was slow to accept the new stem cells, and you end up here.

Friday I found out that the decision had been made to discharge her to hospice care. I was devastated. The general feeling was that she would not actually make it to today, when she was to have left the hospital. I've been bawling all weekend. I'm not alone.

J was so thrilled about our adopting Josie. On the Sunday before we left for China, J grabbed me by the shoulders, gave me a big ol' kiss and said, "You are so loved. We are all going to China with you. Go bring that baby home." She was at the airport to welcome us home and to fawn over Jo.

I'm so not finished with J. We had things to do. Laughs to share. She and her husband had all kinds of plans. Her daughter just had a baby girl (after 3 boys) in September. We all knew that she was going to get through this in her tough British fashion.

But, she didn't. And now, we are left with a gaping hole in our lives. She will be SO very missed by so many people.