holy cow! it seems like just yesterday that i was sharing the sad news about tag, but nearly 2 months have passed! a lot has happened in those months, and unfortunately, i don’t have pictures of most of it…they are still residing on our camera. apparently, hooking the camera to the computer, uploading pictures to iPhoto, and then to wordpress takes more effort than one would initially suspect when also trying to work a full-time job, keep a house (sort of) clean, make meals, AND take care of two sweet girls and a husband. so we will eventually get to the pictures. but for now, you will have to settle for words. and there are lots of them.
we did have a funeral for tag, which involved choosing the perfect spot for him (in the back yard near the grapevines…tag loved grapes!), coloring pictures of our family so he wouldn’t forget us in dog heaven, each of us telling our favorite tag story, and lots of tears. but it was nice…closure, i guess. we still miss him terribly, and probably always will, but he is in dog heaven and that is awesome. also, one of my co-workers gave the girls this book. it is amazing, and they love it. also? my co-workers are cooler than yours.
also, we have a new member of our family. michael’s younger brother got married, which was awesome, and his wife also happens to be awesome. we were all in the wedding, and i am so brain dead these days that i can’t remember if i already shared pictures from that. of course, those pictures are on a different computer right now, but here is a link to the video preview if you’re interested. notice the two cuter-than-cute flower girls. welcome to the forston family, lindsay!
somewhere in the blur that is the last 2 months, leslie started kindergarten. KINDERGARTEN! that is beyond huge. also? how is she old enough for this kindergarten business already? it makes my heart hurt a little bit to think about it too much. she, of course, loves it and will definitely be ready to leave home and go away to college next week. my little independent one. (lucky for me, lucy will probably live in our basement until she is 30.) on her first day, leslie got in the car and proclaimed, “kindergarten.is.awesome.” and so far that is still her opinion, although i secretly wish she would say, “kindergarten is okay. but being at home with you, mommy? THAT was awesome.” sigh.
one funny story from her first day…we walked to school in the morning (i had taken the day off work because, well, i was pretty sure i would need a day to sob uncontrollably as the realization that my girl was in kindergarten took hold) and then i picked her up in the car that afternoon. did i bother to tell her that i would pick her up IN THE CAR after school? nope. shouldn’t she just automatically know that? of course not! so, my big girl tried her best to convince everyone that she was a walker. she would walk home. it was totally fine. mommy? no, she didn’t need mommy to walk her home. it was just down the street! come on people, i’m FIVE now! i can totally do this! thankfully, the teachers knew that she was a car rider in the afternoon. (turns out having your good friend and junior prom date working at the school is kind of handy…thanks, mr. davis!) so, i arrive in the car lane to pick her up, mr. davis goes to get her, and he tells her, “leslie, you are a car rider in the afternoons.” her smiling face turns to a panicked one and she says, “but mr. davis! i don’t know how to DRIVE A CAR yet!” not yet, leslie…but someday. and i’m sure it will be well before this mommy is ready for it.
bear with me…i’m almost caught up.
my girls have been so amazingly fortunate to have known all of their great grandmothers. three of them are in lexington, and the girls get to see them more than most kids get to see their grandparents. unfortunately, michael’s grandmother had some health problems that led to her having to have both of her legs amputated in may. at the age of 89. most women would have given up, but granny actually didn’t seem to mind not having her legs. her life went right along, she had visitors, played bingo, made bracelets, and celebrated her 90th birthday on july 3rd. sadly, she contracted pneumonia a few weeks ago and just wasn’t able to recover. last thursday, granny passed away. michael lived with her for a couple of years when he was in PT school, so they were fairly close. plus, he was the only grandchild still in lexington, and he has granny’s only great-grandchildren. we visited her frequently, though in hindsight we should have visited more. granny loved my girls, and if that were her only legacy, it would be a remarkable one. but it’s not. she was the kind of woman who, even when she was in the icu struggling for breath, wanted to know how we were doing. i will remember lots of things about granny…like the way she used to make handwritten signs to hang on the door whenever someone was coming to visit. she would use paper from a yellow legal pad and write a big welcome in multi-colored pen. and when michael was accepted to PT school at UK she made him a big yellow sign saying congratulations. granny loved to celebrate. the other thing i will remember is the first time she came to meet leslie. we were still in the hospital…leslie was less than 24 hours old. granny was unable to walk due to a knee replacement gone wrong, so she was in a wheelchair. when michael’s mom brought her into the room, her face lit up when she laid eyes on leslie: her first great-grandbaby. as she was holding her, she looked at me and said, “kara, i want you to know something. and i want you to remember it and tell leslie when she’s old enough to understand it. i put pantyhose on to come and meet my first great-granddaughter.” we laughed, but it is the perfect illustration of how granny loved. can you imagine putting pantyhose on, at the age of 85, when you were unable to even stand up? i can’t get pantyhose on without an embarrassing struggle right now! i think back on how much effort went into granny getting those pantyhose on, and i am astounded. and i am grateful that granny is in a place now where there are no pantyhose, where she has been reunited with her husband and her siblings, where her body is whole again and her legs work, and where she is able to watch over her family. leslie and lucy have had a hard time with it…they loved their granny just as much as she loved them, and this is the first time they’ve been old enough to understand a family member’s death. they still pray for granny every night, and they take comfort in knowing that granny is in heaven. they’ve even had a few conversations about how big her angel wings are!
wow. what a sad note to end on. we’ll have to lighten the mood a little bit. with a puppy! meet penelope, the soon-to-be newest member of our family. there will never be a replacement for tag, but we are all looking forward to a sweet, snuggly puppy. she is 4 weeks old in this picture, and we will pick her up on lucy’s birthday.