It’s almost been two months. I believe that we miss her as much today as we did on February 1st. My heart is not aching as much as it had been, maybe just resorting to the dull pain and awareness of not being able to just pick up the phone. There are words I’ve been meaning to share… of Sandy and it just seems right. Today.
I am seldom at a loss for words. Well, Sunday and “the big game” and just how to tell my Sandy story being the exceptions.
How do I tell you the story of this woman? I need to share enough with you to understand the struggle of our relationship to help you understand the sheer beauty of it in our final months together.
And then… I woke up at 4:30.
Earlier last week I wrote in my blog as we walked with Sandy through her last steps. I had commented to the Chaplin, that this experience, Sandy’s end-of-life seemed to me to be every bit the miracle that the birth of a child is, the other side of the same coin. That moment was probably the most helpful determination of this process.
I blogged that we often conceptualize “miracles” with the BIG and MIGHTY things we may expect. Loaves and fishes, turning water into the finest wine, resurrecting on the third day…. And then I thought, death, perhaps fits right in with those miracles.
I woke up this morning with a to-do list that really needed to be to-done, before we arrived this morning, and, grateful that I had found my words.
My relationship with Sandy is one of my own little miracles. We started in a pretty traditional way, I was just never going to be good enough, to be the woman that would marry her son. In fact, until just hours ish before our wedding in May of 2011, Sandy was determined that she’d have no part of what was about to happen. As it happened, Sandy had a last minute change of heart, and my brother Vito went on a mission for what I think is the first of a series of miracles in our relationship, and picked-up Sandy to attend the marriage of her son, to me… the girl she just didn’t think was good enough.
I shared earlier this week that at our wedding Eric and I shared photos of our relationship as centerpieces. A photo of he, a photo of me, and a photo of we. We also had boxed truffles set as table gifts. After the pleasantries of the reception, one of our guests, I think it was LeAnn… had commented to me that Sandy had been traveling from table to table availing herself of the photos of Eric, the remaining truffles…. Leaving me and we behind. I share this, because more than five years later, I still find it hysterical.
It was after our wedding, that the miracle of Sandy and I really started. She stopped introducing me as the maid, Lord knows I’m not….and Eric says so too. But I was able to spend time with Sandy on a different level, one of acceptance and as the days progressed, fondness.
In the past several months of Sandy’s life, I noticed, I think we all noticed a change in Sandy’s demeanor. She became softer and kinder – traits I believe she always had, but was perhaps guarded in sharing having had a life that often included heartbreak or disappointment, and I had moved from being the maid, to being sweetie or honey… a hand hold here, and a hug there.
While Eric was traveling late last year, it offered the opportunity for Sandy and I to enjoy a girls day out for lunch and shopping…. it’s a gift to me, because it wasn’t a have-to-do, but a want-to-do and so we enjoyed a lunch at Chili’s and Christmas shopping. I have to believe that she enjoyed the afternoon just as much as I did. I know, without a doubt, she enjoyed the chips and guacamole.
And in her last days… I was able to just be with Sandy and Eric through this. Mostly holding her hand, reading to her, listening to Barry Manilow, and reflecting with her at just how far we’d come.
Our relationship… is my little miracle and Sandy’s gift to me.