A funny thing happened on the way to clean the kitchen tonight.
And yes, I know it's funny that I was cleaning in the first place! But this year I am allllllllll over this "turning over a new leaf" shit. And by leaf I mean a broom and sponge. The kitchen has been in a normal, not gross state for two weeks now, which is some sort of record in my very messy little world. But, I digress.
I emptied out a little cabinet in our living room to make room for storing PJ's toys, and in it found a gift bag filled with a bunch of random cards, notes, and other nonsense. Tonight when I was cleaning up from dinner, I opened up the bag and started reading the cards, and found a stack of sympathy cards that many of my friends sent when my brother-in-law Greg passed away in October of 2008. The notes were sweet and sad and touching and they instantly brought me back to saying goodbye to funny, laid-back, 36-year-old Greg.
Pete and I had only been married a few months when Greg passed- he had stood as a groomsman in our wedding, although by then he was very, very sick. At the time, we didn't think things were ever going to be good or normal or right again. Pete's sister Shelly, my amazing friend and someone I consider a sister as if we were blood, was left to mother their three beautiful girls (at the time ages 6, 4, and 2) alone. We were all at a loss as to how to handle this terrible thing.
Greg has been gone for two years now. We have all somehow managed to keep getting through his loss, and I marvel at the strength of my sister every day. It's not an easy thing, but I don't look at Shelly and her daughters and see a piece missing first- now, I see those funny, sassy girls and my ridiculously gorgeous, stylish sister and then remember that someone is missing. That's mostly due to Shelly and how hard she works to make sure her girls are happy, healthy, and loved. I don't always know what the future hold for them, but they are loved.
The other night, we had tucked PJ into bed and could hear him babbling away to himself over the baby monitor. His babbling turned into the sweetest fit of baby laughter I had ever heard, and I brought the monitor into the other room so Pete could hear. I wondered aloud what on earth could be making PJ laugh like that, and Pete suggested that he was talking to Uncle Greg.
How awesome would that be?