Good Evening! Today is Sunday July 29th ....
First order of business is to say Happy Anniversary to Britt & Kenneth (July 30, 2011). You have had a year that no newlyweds should have to experience, but you have remained strong and supportive/helpful to me and I love you guys very much! Check out the picture…walking back down the aisle...
Second order of business is this week's Blog title. To my lady friend (Tess) from Down Under (that means Australia to the rest of you) I hope that I am making you laugh again this week. My opinion is that what I will explain further down in this post is 100% HEALING, but a year ago I would have called it “Just Plain Crazy”. Interesting how your perspective can change when life takes a wrong turn. Do I have your interest yet?
I think I am going to switch around the format this week and start with My Janelle pictures. I was just sitting here kind of thinking which ones should I use. I have a basket full of the older photos sitting next to my computer so I can just randomly select. For this week, I picked another one from our annual June trip to the Midwest. We really had great times on these trips. This was taken in Pana, IL which is where the Hayes Family Reunion is held every June. That of course is the one on the left. On the right….I am sure you can guess the date. Final moments sharing a laugh before Ms. Britt Hayes became Mrs. Britt Freeman.
NOW….to update you on my week………I am going to save my Monday night adventure to the end. Please do not jump to the end, because you may never come back….:-)
Tuesday night…I hung out with three (3) young ladies! The story is that on Sunday night while sitting at my golf buddies house enjoying some leisure time, his 15 year old (Brigid) and I got talking about why every kid should learn to drive on a manual transmission. It really does serve you well as you continue on life’s journey. Anyway, Brigid has her driver’s permit, really wants to learn how to drive a stick, but not really sure she wants her Dad to be the teacher. Her cousin was there also (Lisa), same situation (wants to learn, needs a teacher). So we made a date to go to Sharon Baptist Church’s parking lot that I used many years ago when I was teaching Britt & Ian. Sister Kaitlyn, who already knows how to drive a stick shift also hung out with us. They both did GREAT! We are planning on having a few more sessions in the upcoming weeks. Oh, in case I have never told you about car#3, we (actually it will be Britt’s some day when she decides to take it) have a 1988 YJ Jeep; No Doors, Bikini Top, Very Cool! Here are a few of pictures of us! The top one is us leaving the neighborhood, middle is Brigid at the wheel and on the bottom Lisa is taking her turn. Kaitlyn was the one taking those action photos.
Hard to believe………..but nothing comes to mind for Wednesday. I think I just kind of hung out at the house by myself for the most part. I need some of those “just being alone” times as well.
Thursday’s plan was to meet Janelle’s very good friend Ann & her mother Dot for dinner. Very fun time, we had not talked in several weeks, had lots to get caught up on. We enjoyed a great meal at a local establishment.
This is starting to get long so I am going to do something not in my character and wait to tell you about the rest of my week until next weekend except high level.
Friday, I attended the 24 Hours Of Booty Bike Ride. Marguerite updated her web page with one of My Janelle's more memorable quotes. I have seen / read it many times, but the other day when I read this as part of this page, tears came quickly.... captures My Janelle's heart!
Sunday….Also will wait until next weekend. It included a GREAT day at the Lake!
OK, let’s get back to Monday night. Sit tight, breath in and out slowly. I will provide a little background to set this up. I am working hard on healing and moving forward. It is a real balancing act because your emotions can quickly go to feeling bad if you go a few hours without constantly thinking of your loss or perhaps if you laugh a bit. I am happy to say that I do feel like I am making good progress and I know that is exactly what Janelle would want.
For several weeks I have been contemplating some type of a permanent reminder of Janelle. The reality is that the person I am (good & bad) is 100% based on having Janelle in my life the last 31+ years. Down the road, regardless of what path my life takes, that will always be a part of who I am and of course I would have it no other way.
So, I made a huge personal leap that a Tattoo, if done tastefully, is not such a terrible thing. For those of you who do not know me personally, trust me when I say HUGE! I wanted something that was not going to be completely visible to everybody, but also I wanted something that if somebody saw it, they may say….”What is that?” I can’t wait for that type of question because my response/answer is going to be to look them directly in the eyes and say…”Let me tell you what is behind this”.
As I have been using in my sign off of the blog and my personal email, the first time Janelle provided a scriptural blog after our diagnosis last summer she used Psalms 29:11. It has kind of become my life verse. So I have a little ink. It is on my upper inside right arm (above elbow / below shoulder area). It has two words that are separated by the Grey Brain Tumor Awareness Ribbon. Those words of course are “Strength” and “Peace”. Underneath this it provides the reference of Psalm 29:11 on the left and on the right it has Janelle’s scripted signature that she used on all of the cards she designed and 2012 to represent the year she left us.
It was a date night with daughter #2; I convinced her to join me on my adventure. We met at CABO Fish Tacos in the artsy section of town (NoDa), walked across the street to FUs Tattoo Parlor, 2 hours later back to CABOs. Pictures….Brittany took a few so it was easier to set them up in a slide show. If you are not interested in seeing the process & final result….do not click on the link at the end of this blog…..
It was not my intention to shock any one. I just wanted to be transparent which is kind of what we do on this blog. By the way, I am not exactly sure where Janelle’s opinion would be on whether this is Healing or Just Plain Crazy………, but I think she would APPRECIATE My Heart and Intentions.
And guess what…I have a late Sunday night update. I got to explain my Tattoo tonight for the first time. I went to dinner with a friend and her 12 year old identical twin daughters (Holly / Moriah / Lydia). Sitting on a bench, eating a little ice cream and one of them (sorry girls, I can’t tell you apart yet) said….”Is that a Tattoo?”. After I acknowledged it was, I ask them if they were interested in the meaning which they were so I explained the verse, the grey ribbon, the scripted JMH and the 2012. I think they liked the ink and my explanation so I am a very happy person at this writing!
Thanks for staying with me. Busy week coming up; I am heading up to the Washington DC area for some business. I thank you for your continued encouragement and I hope to see you again next Sunday night…..
Here is the link to the Adventure…..I hope you enjoy or at least appreciate what it is all about. If you stay to the very end after the credits, you will get to see the final full color masterpiece!
Healing….or Just Plain CRAZY? (2 Minutes, 50 Seconds)
Strength and Peace to You ….. Psalms 29:11