There is always a story behind whatever we do...the story behind the the story. This one began ten years ago. 2003. To be exact, May, 2003. We had decided to update the kitchen AND build a garage in the back yard. So we went to the bank, got a BIG line of credit, and signed the paperwork. Two weeks later, Melissa was diagnosed with breast cancer. Everything was put on hold. Priorities changed.
In the last five years, I haven't WANTED to change anything. Everything had to be how it was when Melissa was here.
In the last several months, I had the itch to clean things up. Get rid of A LOT of clutter. And change a few things. The kitchen was a biggie. We got new carpet in our bedroom and talked to our friend at the carpet store about getting laminate in the kitchen and dining room and about updating the kitchen. He recommended a place on Wilmington Pike. A few weeks later, I ran into a friend from high school who also recommended the SAME place. Classic Cabinets. She said they did their homework, got several estimates and this place had the best prices and did great work. And they are a local small business, in business for 37 years. So we got an estimate - funny thing - when the salesman came in and looked at our kitchen, his first comment was "This will make great before and after pictures!". We knew it was time, just didn't realize how bad it really was...
There were many good things about doing this now, instead of ten years ago. The most important being that we were able to pay cash ten years later. Another good thing was it was a good diversion during a month that is normally (?) very difficult. It gave me time to get out (forced me to get out) to do some things for Christmas. We met some really nice people who worked on our kitchen who we would HIGHLY recommend. We plan on being here for awhile, so we can enjoy it. I might even start cooking again (I cooked for the first 25 years, Donny got the second 25). Got rid of a lot of clutter and just STUFF that we didn't need or use any more.
The bad thing? Melissa isn't here to see it and enjoy it with us. She would love it. (Especially the black granite countertops). I can just see us having a cup of coffee together (with Donny's new Keurig from Nick & Mere), sitting at the new bar.
Another good thing? the new countertop (island/peninsula) is a great space for Andrew and Max to build their LEGOS, puzzles, color and make cookies!
Donny doesn't know it yet, the next BIG project will be a garage. Might be in a couple of years when we can pay cash for it, but it's coming too. I'm getting too old to scrape snow and ice off my car, and we need a place to store things. But it will be for our CARS, not junk.
First snow of the season - before winter even got here. Eleven inches of snow in Dayton before Christmas. It's been awhile since we've had this much this early.
While the holidays will never be the same without Melissa...we have a new normal. It's quieter, simpler, smaller. I miss the old "normal", but feel truly blessed to have two adorable grandsons and the best son and daughter in law ever. And our family has grown - Matthew (my sister Sue's son) and Jen will always be a part of our Christmas.
A Christmas Story - by Andrew
The kids were checking out the "crib" (as my dad called it) - the Nativity Scene, a couple weeks before Christmas. Andrew asked me "Is God in there?" I told him, no, but God is Jesus' father. He then asked "What is Jesus' mom's name?" I told him Mary. Then he asked me if they were married. I told him Joseph was her husband. (pretty good thinking for a five year old, I'd say!) I also told them that we don't put the Baby Jesus out until Christmas morning, because that is when he was born.
So on Christmas Eve, before we left for Nick & Mere's, I told the boys we had to put the baby Jesus out and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Then Andrew said "and to his mom and his step-dad"...
Now, I don't know about you, but I had never before heard anyone refer to Joseph as Jesus' step-dad(although is makes sense!), until Andrew said it and then on Christmas night on a special on the History Channel about the history of Christmas. Joseph was referred to as Jesus' step-father...Donny and I looked at each other and both said "Andrew is pretty smart!"
My two Best Friends, EVER.
I will be taking this picture to a specialty camera store to see if I can get it fixed.
But I LOVE this picture of Sue and Melissa. Sue was Melissa's Godmother...now she is her "mother in heaven" until I get there. They look so much alike in this picture, and they both
look SO happy.
My next post will be this weekend. January 3. Five years since Melissa left us.
January 5...should be Melissa's 36th birthday...and one year since Sue left us.
Love you and miss you both more than you will ever know...