It’s been nearly a month since my father passed away. And I’m still blown away by all the people who came together when I needed them.
It’s quite striking, really.
I mean, you know you have friends. You know you have family. You know you have blog readers. But when something tragic happens, you truly, truly see.
This post is about being thankful. Being grateful. Being blessed to truly see. See that I have such amazing people in my life, both those I know well and those I hardly know.
I’m thankful for…
Daddy Roo has always been the involved type. We take turns doing dishes at night, putting the kids to bed and so on. While I may give the kids more baths, he cooks more. If I clean more, he irons all his own clothes. We’re a great team running this house.
When I first had to fly to Costa Rica, Daddy Roo didn’t even hesitate to say I should go. He didn’t worry about how he’d meet his crucial deadlines or about missing time off of work. My dad was sick and I needed to be there. End of story.
And six days after I got back, my father passed away. While of course I wanted to go, I worried about the money and had more mommy guilt leaving the kids again (no one but me had a current passport at the time so I had to go solo). When I started in with my self-doubting, worrying self, Daddy Roo looked at me and said, “No. It’s not even a question. You are going.”
And so I went.
Thanks Daddy Roo for being an incredible husband who truly knows the meaning of family.
Shuffle here. Shuffle there. Work in between. That’s what you do when you’ve got two kids in preschool. Since I was in Costa Rica a total of 13 days in December, Daddy Roo had the fine task of getting the kids to school, heading to work for a couple of hours, then picking them back up, getting Little Roo down for a nap and trying to sneak in a bit more work.
Luckily, I’ve got awesome friends who pitched in. Friends who picked the kids up some days so Daddy Roo could work longer. Friends who stayed into the afternoon some days too.
One of my friends even drove in from Charlotte (2.5 hours away) to stay for a couple of days. It’s not that my hubby couldn’t have handled it– he’s awesome with the kids– but I know how I’d feel if HE were away for 8 days straight. I’d gladly accept help.
My friends brought meals too. Even our group at church brought us numerous meals and even some holiday treats, which was great since we didn’t have time to do that this year.
And the cards. My goodness, the cards. I was touched by every single card friends sent me, offering condolences for my loss.
Thanks friends for your support and comfort.
I live in a pretty standard-looking, middle-class suburban neighborhood. But one of girls in my neck of the woods also happens to read my blog (hiya!). And when she saw I was leaving the country for an emergency, she reached out to see if my hubby and kids needed some meals while I was gone.
Having neighbors drop off a couple of meals was immensely helpful. You parents know what it’s like to try and cook with two little kids running around. Daddy Roo was very grateful for the help and it made me feel good too knowing things were just a tad easier on him. The fewer pots and pans to clean after the kids go to sleep, the better!
Thanks neighbors for those warm meals and condolences.
I’ve got so much family, it’s not even funny. Sisters. A half-brother (who’s only 11). Mom. Step-mom. In-laws. Aunts. Uncles. Nieces. Nephews. And cousins. Oh my, I have lots and lots of cousins.
I have to brag for a second. Few people in this world can get on a plane to another country and not know who was picking them up at the airport or where they were staying. That was me when I went to Costa Rica the first time in December, when Dad was in the hospital. I didn’t know… all I knew was that one of my relatives would be there and that they’d take care of me.
My Costa Rican family is like that. They’ll selflessly feed you, house you, care for you and comfort you. I could never express my gratitude to them.
Of course, I have lots of family here that supported each other during this time. My mom and sisters coordinated the memorial service in the U.S. for my dad. My mother-in-law and aunt helped handle the refreshments for after that service. Lots of hugs, tears, comfort and so on. It was both the physical and emotion support that makes my heart full.
Thanks family for being such an amazing, close family that can come together in a time like this.
My Blog Readers and Online Community
You. Yeah you. Even if you fit into one of these other categories. I am truly humbled by this online community. I always wondered if I would tweet or leave Facebook comments about what was happening. While I wasn’t online much during those few weeks, support from you all poured in.
Tweets, Facebook messages, emails and so on. For someone who’s been in this space for a while, even I was surprised by the outpouring of good thoughts and prayers for me and my dad. When I was visiting him in the hospital, I told him how many people I had never even met were praying – truly praying – for him.
Thanks to you all for your support and concern, even if we may have never met in person.