Tag Archives: birthdays

Missing a Friend

Today would have been my college roommate’s 38th birthday. In May she lost a five-year battle with breast cancer. What do you say? She was much too young. It’s hard to make sense of it because it doesn’t make sense.

I meant to write a post for Glynnis weeks ago and share some pictures, but I just didn’t know what to write. I think part of the reason has been shame. I feel shameful that she fought this fight for five long years, yet the last time I actually saw Glynnis was at my wedding, almost 7 years ago. I regret that, while she did a good job emailing us all to update us on her condition, I did a terrible job of reaching out to her, let alone going to see her. What kind of friend was I? I wasn’t. Sending a few emails to a friend battling cancer hardly cuts it.

I don’t know why I didn’t try harder to call or see her before it was too late. It’s not that I didn’t want to. It’s that time just flew by me. I took time for granted. I didn’t think she was going anywhere and I was too removed to realize the gravity of it all. The truth is, based on the messages that Glynnis sent over the last few years, she was a master at keeping her eyes on the bright side. She made it easy for us (or me, at least) to believe that cancer wasn’t a real threat to her. Even near the end, while at home with hospice care, she was reaching out to everyone else through her Caring Bridge page, letting us all know that she was alright. Sure, she asked for help…. but mostly for her husband and son. In fact, just one week before she passed, she posted her last message, where she talked about her plans for regaining the strength her in legs. Her body was failing her, yet she showed nothing but courage and determination.

So, this meager post is my tribute to Glynnis.

I’m sorry, G, for not doing more while you were still with us. You were a great friend and am so grateful that Ship brought us together. I remember receiving that welcome letter from college, where they listed you as my assigned roommate, and I remember being confused by the order of your name as it was printed on the sheet. So, when I called your house to introduce myself and discuss who was bringing what for our dorm room, I confused everyone when I asked for you by your middle name, Erin.

Remember how we were robbed a good 9 square feet of dorm room space because of that stupid hallway phone booth that didn’t even work? But, luckily our phone cord was about 25 feet long, so we could stretch it out the door and into the booth when we wanted a private conversation. So, it wasn’t a bad deal, after all.

And remember the message-in-a-bottle we left in the ceiling of our room, only to find the girls that were in that room the year before had the same idea and left a message-in-a-bottle themselves?

Our sophomore year dorm room was much cooler than the freshman year room, especially with the bunk beds we scored! It was fun to chat at night in our bunks. Thanks for taking turns with the top bunk. I gotta tell you… I love you, but it drove me a little insane that you would kick off your socks in the middle of the night and, without fail, they’d always drop down into my bed! 🙂

We shared lots of secrets in those dorm rooms, and in the room next door (Jennifer and Lori’s). I’m thankful that, on the sloppiness scale, you and I ranked about the same, which made us a perfect match, I think… along with our frequent bouts of silliness. Oh, and how about those afternoon naps we would take? Nothing like a two-hour nap in between our last class and dinner at the dining hall! We always kept Lori and Jennifer waiting… but those were the best naps!

This is my favorite picture of us… dancing in the gritty mess on the floor left behind by the old rug we called “the sand trap”!

You did have quite a silly side! That’s what I really loved about you: your silliness, spontaneity, and wit. I feel like all the four of us did those first few years of college was laugh until we cried. Seriously, I wish I had a crazy story to tell, but what I remember most is laughing… just laughing. I wish I could hear your laugh just once more.

It would be pretty amazing to play softball with you one more time, too.

After your memorial service, the three of us were regretting the time we’ve lost with you and we promised to get together at least once a  year for a girl’s weekend. So, in July we kept that promise. It was a great visit. We told stories, looked at old photos, and did lots of giggling. But the sounds of your voice and your giggles were missing. Still, it was great to reminisce about those years in college and to have you there in our hearts. We’ll do this many more times and every time we do, we’ll carry you with us. And never again will I let time with a special friend slip away from me, the way I did with you.

Happy Birthday, G! We love you and miss you.


Four Years

We recently celebrated the fourth anniversary of the day my baby boy was born. When I think about it, it seems to have gone by pretty swiftly. It’s amazing, really, when you think about how far a little human comes in four years. They start out a completely helpless ball of mush, and a short four years later you have a small jumping, running, story- and joke-telling person on your hands. How amazing is it that they learn all of these physical feats, as well as language and communication in such a short time? These are the types of things that fascinate me. If you find it remarkable too, you’d enjoy a book that I read a year or so ago called The Scientist in the Crib. (It looks like there is probably a newer version than this one available.)

My little man is friendly, caring, silly, and full of energy. Among his favorite things are: the color green, macaroni and cheese, “milk to warm up”, chocolate, trucks (especially the Hess trucks that his Nana is collecting for him), art, trains, the Backyardigans, Lightning McQueen and Mater, reading books, and doing puzzles. His first word was “ball” and he’s always been interested in playing with soccer balls, baseballs, basketballs, etc. I think he’ll be old enough to play in the local soccer leagues this year, so in the spring we’ll see if he wants to do that.

I love my little guy. I get sad when I think about his baby and toddler days being past us, but I really enjoy the conversations we’re starting to have. He’s smart, thoughtful, and has a great memory. (When I asked him what kind of birthday cake he wanted this year he described–in detail–his birthday cake from last year and said he wanted another one just like it!) He’s full of love and he’s affectionate with his little sister. I’m starting to see the “big brother” come out in him and it’s endearing.

I found this little interview on Pinterest and thought we would do it with Dec on his birthday. Here’s what he said. (We’ll see how his answers change next year!)

  1. Q: How old are you? A: “Three.” (After asking him a second time, because this was the wrong answer, his answer was “nothing”.)
  2. Q: What is your favorite color? A: “Green.”
  3. Q: Who is your best friend? A: “Ashton, Gavin and Spencer.”
  4. Q: What is your favorite animal? A: “Lions and tigers”
  5. Q: What do you want to be when you’re all grown up? A: “Nothing.”
  6. Q: What is your favorite movie? A: “Alvin and the Chipmunks”
  7. Q: What is your favorite book? A: He didn’t answer this one clearly, but we think it’s his Disney bedtime book.
  8. Q: What makes you happy? A: “Daddy.”
  9. Q: What makes you sad? A: “Scary things.”
  10. Q: What is your favorite food to eat? A: “Peanut butter and jelly.”
  11. Q: What is your favorite song to sing? A: “Row, row, row your boat; twinkle twinkle little star, and I’ve been working on the railroad!”
  12. Q: What games do you like to play? A: “Angry Birds, Bug Smasher.”

My newborn baby boy

4 years later!