One Heckuva Week

The whole tone for this past week was set last Sunday night.

I logged on to check Facebook one last time before bed. What I read struck me with the force of a karate chop to the gut. I found out that a childhood friend had died of cancer on Saturday. Lori was only 40 years old, and leaves behind a husband, two children – ages 11 and 8 – her parents, and many friends and connections.

It’s just not right. This thought has replayed through my head so many times over the past six days. News of a death is never welcomed, but it just seems even more unjust when it’s a friend, and when it’s someone in the prime of life. I’ve asked, and internally debated so many questions: “Why Lori? Who will “mother” her children? How is her husband going to cope?” And in broader terms:  “What is the meaning of life? What is important to me? How do I achieve my life goals? Do I throw caution to the wind, in case I never make it to senior citizenhood?”

Lori and I go way back to Grade 2. We were in the same class, and that year, a bunch of us girls formed friendships that continue to this day. Many friends in my grade-school circle came from a similar family situation: a working Dad, stay-at-home Mom; several even had our same birth-order pattern: a first-born daughter (me and my girlfriends), and a son three years younger (our brothers all were friends, too).

my grade 2 birthday party - lori is in the front row, on the far left

same party, L to R: lori, tracey, susie, me

grade 7 class trip to niagara falls: friends, L to R, pam, sue, marie, and lori

I’m glad I went to a visitation time at the funeral home. Giving and receiving hugs of support and comfort does everyone a world of good.

To add to my downer state-of-mind, we had a meeting with the lawyer this week to review updated wills. Great. Just raises the spirits enormously – making plans for what you want to happen after your own demise.

And, this is just petty, but the Condo Casa looks like a cyclone has ripped through it.

Really: do I think Lori wished she had spent more time chasing dustbunnies out from under the bed? Scouring the kitchen sink? Friends, social connections – that is where to place priority. I bet Lori is really happy for all the family vacations, parties, mundane daily routines that she did participate in.

God has a way of taking care of us. As things worked out, I got to spend a lot of time with friends and family this past week. These positive interactions ensured that each day had a bright spot to it. Here’s the recap:

monday: coffee with lisa

tuesday: coffee with VFBF joanne

wednesday: time with little e + baby c

[I really enjoyed “visiting through comment sharing” on Wednesday’s blog post, too!]

[Cousin Kate had happy news to share – another positive].

thursday: outing of the month coffee with dad + mom (more on that tomorrow)

also thursday: walk n talk with BFF debbie

Friday I worked a full day at the store. I love my job, and spending time at work buoyed my spirits. Being around people in general makes me happy.

Later this aft, I am meeting my friend Cathie at Starbucks. It is going to be a delightful visit.

You know what? This week ahead is going to have its own challenges. But I am squaring my shoulders and I’m ready to face each day.

What were you grateful for this past week? Every one of us encounters difficult situations – such is life. It’s important to acknowledge hard times, and to be in touch with our sad/down feelings. But, it’s also imperative that we remain optimistic, and appreciate the positives that occur each day, too.

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  • janetha @ meals & moves  On June 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I am sorry to hear about Lori. Cancer is whack. I hate it.

  • Zo  On June 25, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about Lori. That kind of news is just stunning, and it does make you think about how you go about your own life.
    I am grateful for the people around me who care about me, look after me (and put up with me)

    • 1970kikiproject  On June 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      Thanks, zo. Yes – isn’t it great when the people who love us accept us, warts and all, even on our bad days.

  • Gina Unger  On June 25, 2011 at 9:21 am

    So sorry to hear about your friend, Lori. What a shock and sadness. It is just another reminder to me that ‘certain things’ in life should NOT be my priority and that spending quality time with my family and friends IS. 🙂 I am very grateful for all of the family time that Jeff and I spent together with our kids this past week now that his school year is nearly over.

    • 1970kikiproject  On June 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      Hooray for the end of the school year! I hope you will be able to have many fun family adventures in july and august! Yes, it takes sad occasions to reinforce what our priorities really are.

  • The Orchard  On June 25, 2011 at 8:42 am

    P.S. So sorry to hear about your friend….

  • The Orchard  On June 25, 2011 at 8:42 am

    I am always grateful for the time I get to spend with my kids as a stay-at-home-mum. Many days are challenging, but I know that this time at home with them will come to an end soon and so I try to embrace each day and appreciate them.


    • 1970kikiproject  On June 25, 2011 at 1:15 pm

      I’m so glad you have the opportunity to spend these years with your children, tricia. I bet some days seem too whirlwind (!), but the rewards are plentiful, too.

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