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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Life indeed happens when you are planning lunch.

NYC 2 years ago
Indeed it does, Aunt Kay...indeed it does.

I kept waiting for this blog post to write itself, that I would wake up and see it clearly written in between the mush of memories I've been sifting through. 

The blog post did not write itself. 

Two weeks later and it still doesn't feel real that Aunt Kay isn't going to be emailing me at 1am, or sending some exciting package in the mail to Ella. 

I'm just going to let her write this blog post for me. (NOTE: Hegel = Heather)




December 14, 2015: 
I have such fun being a great-aunt to Ella, went to Will Hillenbrand's
signing at the bookstore last Tuesday, got his new book for Ella.  She
may well be into chapter books of one kind or another, but this picture
book is really clever and special.  Daniel Pinkwater, often on PBS, wrote
the text, and of course, Will's illustrations are superb.  Glad the advent
calendar was a hit.  I used to have a store that sold card-sized ones that
I sent to David and Jesse when they were in college.  One year I couldn't
find them anywhere, and big as they were, they were rather put out with
not having any.  

April 2, 2016
We love you.  We love your wonderful family.  We love the
pictures you take and the vibrant life you lead. 



May 9, 2016
Their home for nearly a month in Kenmare, Ireland.




















June 12, 2016
In your honor, well, because of Ella's delicious picture, we
had corn on the cob last night  (with lots of butter)--it was 
almost as good as Ella's looks in her picture!  Thank you, Hegel
 Love AK & UP  : )  : )  ; )

June 23, 2016
Just as I was scrolling down to answer your recent email,
this wonderful epistle showed up.  Ella is SO tall, and the
kitties seem to have taken to her and vice versa splendidly.
I think children who are raised with animals and taught how
to handle them are most often very gentle caretakers.  I know
we have had a good time with our various assortment through
the years, and our sons and families all have pets.  

July 15, 2016
Dear Heather,
Have we told you recently that we think you are just an amazing
young woman?  Well, you are.  And I could see Marie with you
in the park with the bubbles.  Just the sort of thing she would
think of, also.
We never know, as we watch the young ones in our midsts, what
they will be like as adults, what choices they will make, will they
be more happy than not, will their difficulties be surmountable.
As parents and onlookers, we are caught in the moments, and
as parents, some moments (and behaviors) are more attractive
and enjoyable than others.  All I know is that we are so proud
of the splendid woman you have become, an honor to all who
know her now or knew her then.
Love to our Hegel,
Aunt Kay and Uncle Peter

October 4, 2016
I'm off to Boston on the 19th for a meeting of
myeloma speakers and an add-on couple of days
with a friend who is coming from Philly.  We are
very compatible travel mates, having met in NYC
in June.  Part of the speakers' gathering is participation
in the "Light the Night" walk in Boston Common.  It is
very inspiring--red, white, gold lanterns all around the
park.  It is very near the duckling statues from "Make
Way for Ducklings" in the Public Gardens across the
street.

November 16, 2016
Dear Hegel,
You are truly amazing!  The recent Donna Ruth was so very
well-organized and enjoyable.  We can't thank you enough
for putting this all together.
I am currently reading a novel by Ann Hood called THE RED
THREAD, a story within a story about Chinese adoptions.  It
seems  based on a lot of good research into the process as
well as being an intertwining story of the main character. 
Have you read it?  If you haven't, I shall send it to you:  really
shouldn't be missed.  I also have a book for Ella on order
which I will send when it arrives. 
Thank you again, dear one for last weekend.  I remember
thinking, years ago, perhaps during a time of political
upheaval and a lot of national scrutiny about what  we were
doing as a country and where we were headed that "the people"
always survive by their ability to live by what is important and
ignore the rest.  Somehow we carry on and stand for what is
of true value.  Family comes at the top of the list.

December 17, 2016
I remember one year Carl helped Donna with the Thanksgiving Dinner.  He got so
tired out he had to go take a nap on the couch--said he's never worked so
hard in his life.  It is a lot of work, true, but family gatherings are so very
treasured.  I remember all my life the family gatherings--as a child--as
a young adult--as a mother--as a grandmother.  The joy of being together
and sharing a meal is worth all the work and planning and preparation. 
Time to head to the loft.  Great trip.  Tired.  Worth the effort.

____________________________

So we gathered. We sang. We ate. We laughed. We cried. We embraced.





We went to the sacred space of Blue Manatee Children's Book Store where she spent countless hours reading and singing to children over the years.



We explored the city.










We made the most of our travels, which is precisely how Aunt Kay would have rolled.

~H

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

rooster celebrations and dancing with daddy.

We celebrated the Year of the Rooster with our FCC family. What big fun yet again!












There was so much great food and giggles. This is our second year of gathering everyone at a hall instead of going to a restaurant. It is a perfect fit for our group and Mama Sara and Mama Mary Pat did a perfect job organizing.

I managed to set aside time to photograph my two girls in their qi pao. Look at them!!













Note to self, buy Ella more yellow clothes!

Ella's school had their first Special Guy/Daughter Dance. I was the official photographer that evening and spent the entire time taking non-stop photos of sweet young ladies and their guys. Ella managed to last about an hour. She never left her Daddy's side. The music was loud and that can sometimes be a problem for her. But she had a blast with her guy. AND, they looked adorable on the dance floor together.


~H

Friday, February 3, 2017

Commute to work.

Ninety-five percent of the time, it is just me and NPR on my car ride to work in the early mornings. 

And my coffee. Always my coffee.

As of late, I've found myself driving in silence because the news is noisy in the last few weeks. Does that make sense? It is often too much for me to take in when the puffiness of my under eye area has yet to wear off from my deep winter slumber.

This morning I was flooded with thoughts of Ella's life before us. Just as there are triggers for her, there are triggers for me too. We are approaching the anniversary of departing for China, steeping ourselves in Yunnan Province and yes, holding Ella for the first time.

I forget that another woman pushed her into this world. That seems rather unconvincing to type but honest to God, I mean that sincerely. The enormity of this never fades. Sometimes it gets stowed away in a small corner of my heart and then takes over on a morning tinged with steel gray skies. I'll even admit to talking to myself in the car on this particular morning.


 For 10 months, she had routines and naps and feedings. If in fact she had a foster family (and although not told definitively we are certain she did) do they think of her still? She was so very much loved before we met. They would marvel in what they helped grow in this little human.

The routine gets mundane. Who am I kidding, the routine can get downright tiresome as we navigate our grown up schedules, Ella's school schedule, homework, Brownies and piano. Being blasted with this out of the blue today has helped me remember how truly remarkable our story is.


It makes memories of Year of The Rooster time with Ella's class all that more meaningful.









 It causes me to smile even bigger when Ella's BFF at school leaves this note at home after my teaching.


 I take greater pause in observing these moments of how we do life.

 And I let the laundry sit in baskets while I watch Ella's mind work in overdrive building with 15,000 little pieces of plastic that will no doubt get lost in the vacuum next week.

~H