Day 24: Today, I am grateful for my friend Mary.
My “tribe” is a little smaller today.
Making friends when you move so often and you lean introverted isn’t easy. I’ve got my tricks – I’ve learned to lean on church and my “hobbies” pretty hard. Another trick I’ve found is to find the “Includers” in a community. The ones who welcome you into their posse instantly.
That is how I met Mary in PA. I found her name as a scrapbooking consultant online, and I called and asked if I could come to her crops. (Surprisingly, she was not the first person I reached out to- can you believe someone else in “direct sales biz” told me her crops were “full and closed?”)
So, Mary was the person who began the “U” for me in PA. She opened her “circle” and turned it into a U, welcoming me and others in her home and her hobbies and her life. Her little tribe kept me in stitches and welcomed this Southern gal with my own wacky sense of humor. (“Bless Your Heart,” ladies!) Also one of the reasons I love scrapbooking. As long as you like to cut and paste and eat chocolate, you’re pretty much welcome always.
Anyway, Mary became my first and main lifeline while there. She actually was a catalyst for massive moments in our family. She donated old supplies to our AHG troop there. She, being on the other end of parenting, empathized and have me tips and advice when I was on the “young kid” end of things.
Mary worked at the Y and got me connected there – which led to the girls taking summer camp and Abby joining the swim team. Which led to Lily also doing swim, which led to her diagnosis of SPD and then we were able to get her the OT help she desperately needed and has made SUCH a difference in her life and ours. (And Lily’s diagnosis started us down the path that a few years later became Abby’s diagnosis.) Mary helped me first navigate our first true foray in the “special needs” world – especially the services/support that the Y provided, at no additional cost, that became a HUGE PART of Lily’s intensive treatment plan.
I am not exaggerating a bit when I say that Mary – by doing nothing more than just being Mary – completely changed our lives. And she did it all, with her crafty flair and warmth and crazy zany sense of humor.
Mary passed away today, after her 2nd round of cancer, after 7+ years of remission. This one was very fast and aggressive. And fast. We all found out less than a month ago. And today Mary is gone.
So today, Day 24, of my Gratitude Challenge, I’m grateful for my friend Mary.