Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring can really hang you up the most...

This blog post will be a mixture of emotion and business.

So let's get the "business" part out of the way...

First of all, I am VERY excited to announce that we are opening our application process for CJSTUF Financial Assistance Grants. We will be giving out 20 $500 grants to families of children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses this year. Our efforts are focused this year on patients served by VCU Children's Medical Center (known to most of us as MCV). As cash flow allows, we hope to extend our geographic reach as well as the number of families we can assist.

Applications will be sent very soon to all pediatric healthcare providers and social workers at VCU Children's Medical Center. In addtion, the applications will be available on our website shortly. The first application deadline is May 1st with the first disbursement to be given on June 1st.

Second, a huge thanks to everyone who came out to Alice in Wonderland at R-MC this weekend. The event raised almost $1200! Emily Arnold and The Wonderland Players were fabulous so a HUGE Tummy-Drum Roll to them (you had to be there to understand).

Now, regarding the Carbo Cram Spaghetti Dinner on Friday evening:
I think our major needs right now are for
  1. Spaghetti sauce (non-meat)
  2. Desserts
  3. Salad dressing and parmesan cheese (a few bottles of each should do it)
  4. Garlic bread
  5. Drinks (I'm thinking iced tea and fruit punch drink mixes with pitchers will do nicely).
We have been receiving donations of pasta and a few people have promised me meatballs, sauce, and bags of salad. In addition, we have all the paper goods/flatware/tablecloths, etc. needed for the event.

Please bring any donations of food, etc. to Romp n' Roll by NOON on Friday OR contact me or Roger so we know that you are bringing stuff with you. That way we will know if we need to do any shopping right before the event to fill any gaps. If you are helping with cooking or setup, please be there by 5:30 pm if possible.

Ok, business done.

To echo Roger's post, it has definitely been a roller coaster of emotions lately. Letting go of (most of) her clothes was really strange. I thought I would be ok with it. I had given away lots of her clothes before when she outgrew them and had even given away many of her toys before she died. Somehow looking at ALL those clothes and realizing she would never wear them again...realizing that some of the clothes had never even been worn...and realizing that there was no need to replace the outgrown clothes. Altogether, it just broke my heart.

That is my biggest and most constant struggle is seeing loss in seemingly mundane daily activities. Things that I had taken for granted are now exceedingly painful. Walking into Target and seeing the beautiful Easter dresses only to realize that I don't have someone to buy them for....that hurts.

I still have HUGE piles of stuff in her room that need to be distributed but I think it will have to go in phases. I just don't have the time (or the energy) for a big cleanout. At least it's contained (thanks, Phyllis!).

I've had some interesting songs floating through my head that seem to capture the mood. One is I'll be Seeing You. A nice version. Not the creepy Tom Waits stalker-esque version...

The other is Spring Can Really Hang You up the Most:

Once I was a sentimental thing

Threw my heart away each spring
Now a spring romance hasn’t got a chance
Promised my first dance to winter
All I’ve got to show’s a splinter for my little fling!
Spring this year has got me feeling like a horse that never left the post
I lie in my room staring up at the ceiling
Spring can really hang you up the most!

Morning’s kiss wakes trees and flowers
And to them I’d like to drink a toast
I walk in the park just to kill lonely hours
Spring can really hang you up the most.

All afternoon those birds twitter twit
I know the tune, this is love, this is it!
Heard it before and I know the score
And I’ve decided that spring is a bore!

Love seemed sure around the new year
Now it’s april, love is just a ghost
Spring arrived on time, only what became of you, dear?
Spring can really hang you up the most!

Spring is here, there’s no mistaking
Robins building nests from coast to coast
My heart tries to sing so they won’t hear it breaking
Spring can really hang you up the most!

College boys are writing sonnets
In the tender passion they’re engrossed
But I’m on the shelf with last years easter bonnets
Spring can really hang you up the most!

Love came my way, I hope it would last
We had our day, now that’s all in the past!
Spring came along a season of sun
Full of sweet promise but womething went wrong!
Doctors once prescribed a tonic
Sulphur and moloasses was the dose
Didn’t help a bit, my condition must be chronic
Spring can really hang you up the most!

All alone, the party’s over
Old man winter was a gracious host;
But when you keep praying for snow to hide the clover
Spring can really hang you up the most!

Strange how timely those lyrics seem right now. Personally, I tend to think the lyrics should be a little cruder. Pardon my French but Spring can Really %*$& You Up the Most...

Yeah, that's more like it.

I don't know what it is about Spring. Maybe it's just the concept of change. Changing seasons, changing health (damn allergies), things just moving along. Somehow it all gets my emotions running at full keel and the smaller things can set me off. We move on and life keeps going but the pain doesn't really go away. And it seems to flare up every now and again (like right now). I actually really like Spring (normally). I think it's my favorite season and it's one of the reasons why I DON'T live in Florida anymore. I love the concept of changing seasons and while Floridians will tell you that the seasons change there, it's just not the same. Seeing those bare trees and the brown ground explode into a colorful wonderland is nature's version of that magical moment in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy leaves her tornado-spun house and the world explodes into color. It's magical. Sometimes I think THIS is when we should celebrate the New Year. Not in the cold, dreary days of January. It also means, though, that life is moving on and if you don't get on the train, you'll be left behind. Once again, we are passing through the year thinking of what was and reminded that it will never quite be the same. Maybe that's it. We keep wondering when it will stop sucking quite so much. I'm not quite sure it ever will.

I am very grateful that we still feel surrounded by love. People are constantly checking in with us to see how we are and I do appreciate it. There's not much that will change our situation right now so I keep doing what I've been doing for the last year: one foot in front of the other, keeping myself busy. Really, what else can you do?

Speaking of busy, I have a to-do list about 6.2 miles long (that's a 10K joke for all you runners out there...) so I will sign off for now.

Don't forget to pick up your Team CJ shirts (at Romp n' Roll till 2 PM Friday...OR at the Carbo Cram Friday night!) and we'll see you on Monument Ave!

1 comment:

  1. Roger and Rachel,

    It sucks. It just does. There's no way around it. It makes no sense, and it never will -- but you will get through it. Finding something to DO, as you have, helps.

    I know whereof I speak. From personal experience, I know. Katie had a younger sister.

    Please know that she and I think of you guys often. She remembers sweet little Charlotte, and I rememeber those TWO!!! Care Bear socks.

    Much love and strength,


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