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Another year has rolled by. Time has slipped away and my daughter, Katie has been gone from us for an even longer period of time. It’s hard for me to believe, but it is true. It’s been Twenty-one years.
She was a sweet child. Funny, full of life and full of laughter. She was just six and a half years old.
I remember back to 1980 when I heard John Lennon sing a song called “Beautiful Boy”. It was a simple but sweet song, that he sang to his son, Sean.
Close your eyes,
Have no fear,
The monsters gone,
He’s on the run and your daddy’s here,
Before you go to sleep,
Say a little prayer,
Every day in every way,
It’s getting better and better,
Out on the ocean sailing away,
I can hardly wait,
To see you to come of age,
But I guess we’ll both,
Just have to be patient,
Yes it’s a long way to go,
But in the meantime,
Before you cross the street,
Take my hand,
Life is what happens to you,
While you’re busy making other plans,
Back then I believed that I could protect my children from anything, as long as I was a good mother. But as I have written
here, here and here, I was soon to discover that indeed, life does happen to you while you are busy making other plans.
So today, take your children and hold them close, and hug them. Remember to value each day, each moment with them and know what a real blessing they are in your life.
Yesterday was such a fun day. My cousin Janet came up with my Uncle and brought with her the delightful Miss Smoochie Michelle. We also had Hubby’s Army flight school buddy, Ed, and his charming wife, Janis. And yes, we did get the two Janet and Janis mixed up.
Me, Greta, Janis, Fritz and Michelle.
We sat outside on our patio and had salsa and chips which Ed and Janis had brought. Ed and Janis make the best home made salsa! Man, forget the diet! Hubby served beer and wine to those who wanted, while others drank water. We talked and joked and ate and ate, and finally Hubby asked, “So when do you want me to fire up the grill?”
Finally about 2:30 he started the charcoal and we started to cook a while later. I’m not sure what it is about the first hamburgers and hotdogs cooked on an open fire, in the spring, but hey taste so good that you want more and more!
After we ate, we four girls went down to the Craft Fair and walked around. Janet and I were the only ones who actually bought something. Janis and Michelle showed great control!
We came back and I made some coffee and Janet served her dessert. She made an eggless, flourless chocolate cake with raspberry sauce. Oh my God, take me now! It was so good!!! All control was lost and I simply melted in my desire for more. (diet? what diet?)
Great welcoming her new friend, Michelle
We all sat around talking until we realized it was 7 PM and everyone needed to hit the road. So we said our goodbyes and sadly, the first cook out of the season ended.
Many of you have asked, and I have been thinking it is time to write about one of the most devastating moments in my life. It is, after all these years, still the most painful time in my life, and if I allow myself to dwell too much on it, I will get lost in the past. So, I will try to write about it now and then put it away for perhaps another 20 years.
In 1985 I was married to my ex-husband, Bob, and we had just finished building a small house in southern New Hampshire. We did everything in it from the design, framing, insulation, wall boarding, painting, etc. It was quite an accomplishment.
We had two daughters, Amanda age 8 and Katie age 6. Katie had just graduated from Kindergarten at the end of May, so she was already out of school, while Amanda was still in classes for another few days.
We had planned a huge house-warming party to show off our new home to family and friends for the 15th of June. The weather was good and so we thought it was all coming together.
On the 13th of June, the electric company came and did the final hook up for our water heater! Finally hot water. The workman suggested I wait for an hour or so before using the hot water. Great, I thought, I’ll go out and do errands while I wait for my first hot bath in our new home.
Katie and I dressed in our work clothes, got our 4-month-old puppy Sheba, and climbed into my 1979 Ford Fiesta car. It was a beautiful, warm sunny June day, with such a bright blue sky and not one cloud. We stopped at the bank, and we stopped at the hot tub shop to make the final arrangements for the delivery of our new tub. I was happy and I felt carefree.
Katie and I climbed into the car and headed to another store to get her and her sister new bathing suits. Both the girls had grown over the winter and their swimsuits no longer fit them.
As I started the car, I looked over at Katie and smiled. She had buckled her seat belt and locked her door. Just as I was getting ready to move the car she looked at me and said, “Mom, put your seat belt on too.” Little Minx! So I dutifully put mine on and off we went.
As we drove we listened to the radio and we talked. Out of the blue, Katie said, “I love you so much Mommy!” and I replied, “I love you too, Katie!”
Less than a mile from our intended destination, the traffic light turned red. I shifted out of gear and slowly came to a stop.
That is all I remember.