(PIC: First day of school, 2006: Christi 5th grade, Shayla 2nd grade) Hmmmm. It is starting to hit me. With my new job and Shayla in a new school district, I didn't think it would get to me, but it has. I had put it far back in my mind, but somehow it crawled to the front. In August of 2006, Christi started fifth grade. She completed the first week and then made her final trip to Philadelphia, dying about three weeks later. Last June Shayla turned older than Christi ever was. That was hard for us, yet Christi still seemed like she was the "older sister", perhaps because we thought of her as a "fifth grader". After Shayla completes her first week of fifth grade and gets to start a second, it's going to be very odd. I think there will be no denying it that Shayla is, without a doubt, older than Christi ever was. May God again grant us peace, healing and help when times are tough.
(Shayla's prayers have been cracking me up, yet I know she is very concerned about it. "Please let the boys listen to our teacher." She really loves learning, is quite serious; misbehavior bothers her. I think her class is something like 21 boys, 9 girls. We were totally spoiled by Seneca East's very small class sizes so I cannot even fathom her being in a class of 30, much less with that many boys. Hopefully, God will hear her prayers. It is a fantastic school wtih great teachers and I do know, without a doubt, she will be fine!)
We attended her school's Back to School Family picnic last week. It was very nice. We also had friends from NYC overnight with us and it was FABULOUS to be able to "roll out the red carpet" in Tiffin, Ohio for them! We definitely kept them busy: horse farm tour, Heidelberg University tour, glass cutting and blowing tour, quarry tour, campfire in the back yard - it was great to have them visit with us.
We are definitely winding down the summer and trying hard to squeeze in some last minute things. Last weekend we enjoyed staying with Eric ("Webby") and Alicia in Michigan and this weekend we're back in Michigan for a wedding.
Enjoying the Cook's boat on the lake.
Shayla is having a ball with Aunt Marty and Uncle Jeff while Shayne and I have been in Michigan since Friday.
We have really enjoyed some adult time (sushi and gambling in Detroit Friday night, Saturday - Detroit Institute of Art, an incredible outside wedding on a lake with a great time dancing and meeting new people Saturday night and early this morning, Shayne competed in a triathlon). Next we will catch up with Chris - Christi's incredible "Chemo Angel" before heading back to BGSU where Shayne will move a couple of things for me.
LAST WEEKEND: Battle of Fallen Timbers in Perrysburg, Ohio
I've attended countless meetings over the past three weeks and I'm now all set for students to start classes on Monday. I'm soooooooooo happy that I will not have to teach Christi's classmates as seeing them every day was always hard and I have to fight interally so that it doesn't bring me down. I wish them all the very, very best, but it's always bittersweet just seeing them and wondering about how tall Christi would be, what she'd look like, do they remember Christi? etc. etc. I can't wait to start teaching on Monday!! Whether or not I'm ready for Shayla to head back to school and to start fifth grade is a different story. Those last memories of Christi are hitting me hard. When Aunt Maxine said to us at Christi's funeral, "not a day goes by when I don't think of Cathy" (her deceased daughter), I knew then it would be like that for us too - and it has been.
We were incredibly blessed with amazing daughters and with a fabulous summer! A new adventure is starting and I couldn't be happier even though it's going to be odd to really have Shayla be in the 5th grade and older than Christi ever got to be. Thank you, dear Lord!
Please continue to give us strength as we pass yet another milestone and start a new phase of our lives, without Christi.