You cannot walk a road like ours without friends. Of course, you always have your family but your friends are the ones that see you often and minister to you on a different level.
This past week was filled with smiles and tears with my girlfriends.
Around 3 on last Tuesday afternoon, Jeremy checked our mailbox and found an envelope from Canada. In the package was a beautiful silver necklace with a silver pendant that has an emerald in it. Emerald is the May birthstone. Lizzy Ann's birthstone. The note from my friends Ginger, Lori and Jennifer explained that they wanted me to have something that reminded me of Elizabeth Ann. If ever there were three friends that would jump the moon for me, it would be these three amazing women. If you know me well, you know I love jewelry and this was especially meaningful. It made my day.
Also on Tuesday, I got to have a great visit with my girlfriends from FH. They brought a great dinner for us but I enjoyed their company even more than their meal. I love listening to them tell funny stories about the students in their classes (many of whom I know) and give me updates on my other teacher friends in their system. Although we only spent 1 year teaching together, these wonderful women will be a part of my life for years and years to come. Thank you for loving me!!
On Wednesday, we went to eat at a new Chinese/Sushi restaurant in Florence and I have to admit that it was really good. The sushi we had was some of the best I've ever had and extremely affordable. If you don't live in this area, then you do not understand that it is a BIG DEAL when we get a new restaurant. When Olive Garden opened a few years ago, you would have thought that Emeril Lagasse himself was cooking the dinners. It was packed at all hours for MONTHS. Ridiculous.
We are slowly getting back to doing the things that we used to do. Jeremy is helping me get the yard spruced up and we are making plans to add a deck off the back of the house. Despite trying to stay busy, I find myself just sitting and watching pictures of Lizzy Ann scroll on my screensaver. Sometimes hours will roll by before I realize that I've been just watching and daydreaming of her. That is time well spent in my opinion. I never want to forget one detail of her preciousness and the pictures help burn that into my brain.
I want to talk about depression a little because I feel like people often feel so guilty about feeling depressed and try to hide it from others. I have felt the dark blanket of depression since almost day 1 of this journey but didn't seek medical assistance until mid-April. My doctor offered me (and Jeremy) a prescription and I accepted. I thought that I would wait to begin taking the medication and actually didn't take the first dose until Sunday, April 26th. Little did I know that Elizabeth Ann would arrive only 5 short days later. I am so glad that I decided to take medication and not try to "manage" this on my own. It has not decreased the pain I feel or made all my days bright and wonderful but it has helped keep my highs and lows closer together which in turn helps me function a little better. I was afraid that this would make me feel like a "zombie" but it hasn't so I'm going to stick with it for a while.
I had the chance to spend a few days with my parents in Pelham (Thursday-today) and enjoyed just relaxing. My mom and dad have a great backyard and have worked on it a lot since my dad retired last summer. So we did a little shopping at a few local nurseries and got some good gardening ideas. We also went to a wedding on Saturday and it was really a beautifully simple wedding....very sweet couple.
Jeremy came down on Sunday and today we went by Elizabeth Ann's grave to check on things. They have placed a temporary marker there until her gravestone is ready to be placed. We know she is not in that grave but it doesn't make it easier knowing that you've left your child somewhere you cannot be 24/7. It is just hard to wrap my head around what has happened over the past 24 days. It's only been 24 days since she was alive in my belly. It seems like a lifetime ago.
We have gotten so many cards in the mail and it has been very heartwarming to know that someone is thinking of us. Thank you for continuing to pray for us. We love you all.