The last week of my life has felt that same "crunch" as exam time. I hosted Book Club last week, prepared for a large Christmas Party, had the College Students over on Sunday night, spent a super fun day playing with my child yesterday, not to mention shopping and wrapping presents in the mix. We are fortunate enough to host both sides of our family in the next 2 weeks for Christmas, so the house is in the midst of getting ready. Oh, and that party we had? When things weren't quite ready for guests to arrive, we did the appropriate Martha Stewart cleaning method of shoving stuff in the guest bedroom. Now, we have the dilemma that people will be staying in that cluttered room in 48 hours.
This past week I've been fairly diligent with my time. I've cleaned when I needed to, not because I'm that "on the ball", but because there was no other option. I've stayed on top of food prep, keeping our main level clean, and kept up with what was important.
Today, it's a different story.
In two hours, I will head to Asheville for Mary's Celebration of Life. Both she and my Daddy had decided they didn't want traditional funerals, nor did they want to do any sort of "visitation" at the funeral home. Having participated in too many in their past where families were forced to publicly grieve with people they may or may not have been close to... well... it just wasn't "for them". Now, six weeks later, there are those of us who have felt like "something" needed to be done. There is no intention to go against Mary's wishes- yet we all need to celebrate her life in a way she would love... with a party.
As I've sorted through the pictures we'll share in a slide show, my heart hurts and is full all at the same time. And while I now sit here blogging in my pajamas rather than getting ready to go, I feel a little like it's exam time. I *should* be cleaning my house. I *should* be putting away laundry. I *should* be doing lots of things... according to my to-do list.
Looking back on college, maybe rearranging our dorm room wasn't as important as, oh, I don't know, studying for my exams. But today, I've learned enough to realize that my to-do list is not as important as looking at those pictures... remembering those moments... enjoying looking at Mary's sweet smile.
For those of you who will be there today, you'll see all of the gems that we "borrowed" from her computer and photo stash. But for the rest of you, here are some of the moments I'm enjoying this morning.
my Step-sister, Leigh, with her daughter Charlotte ("Charlie"), Mary's Mom, and Mary
Mary's Red Hat ladies... who also are some of Candler Elementary's best ladies
Mary in co-pilot status on her way to Hilton Head...
not many of us are lucky enough to be flown to vacation!
in March of this year, giving "Bibby" a late Christmas present...
her very own Coach purse!
(she needed a treat to be a big girl since Mommy was going to have surgery the next week)
E and Dadaw at their pond
Mary's FB perfect profile pic
Mrs. Morgan and Mrs. Piercy
(Mary and her teaching partner, Sandy... we found LOADS of great shots of these two)
Stan's new girlfriend with the roses he sent to school
Mary's last trip to Charleston, Sept 2010
It's funny to think that a two and a half hour segment of time will be "enough" time to celebrate this lady's life. We could gather for days and days and still think of more stories to share. But, just like exams, the rest of the world continues to move at a pace that the rest of us are expected to keep up with. My house will need to be cleaned and laundry will need to be put away. But for today, it's all about Mary.
Tears, laughter, and all.
How I miss that lady.