Monday, August 31, 2020

Funeral for a Friend and the Rest of August

I've known Laurie Weber for as long as I can remember. She's my mom's best friend. I swam in her apartment pool, influenced her toddler's milk preferences and held her newborn son just hours after he was born.  Her daughter, Emily, was a bridesmaid in our wedding.  Laurie and her husband, John, also served as our host and hostess.  I worked with John for 4 years at a previous job and we really became friends there.  He gave me my first fresh peach at the age of 25 and I think of him every time I eat them. Laurie was like a second mom to dozens of kids.  Her friend's kids, her kid's friends, any kid she ever met.  "Love Like Laurie" was the motto of her fight against pancreatic cancer.  She always made me feel like the most important person in the room.  

She was diagnosed just after Esme was born.  She took it head on while still making sure everyone else was cared for.  I took Esme over for a visit when she was a month old.  Laurie didn't want to talk about herself or cancer, just about how I was doing and about Esme.  She went through countless rounds of chemo and other treatments and was even in remission for a while.  As encouraging as that was, we knew the long term prognosis for pancreatic cancer wasn't great.  She stopped responding to treatment in the spring and entered hospice in June, all in the middle of a global pandemic.  We expected to have more time with her, but she passed away at home, surrounded by her family, on August 8th.
I was asked to read some scriptures at her memorial service and was honored to be a part of it.  As I was hearing others share their stories about her, I realized she made everyone feel like the most important person in the room.  But, in reality, you WERE the most important person in the room when she was talking with you. I miss her so much and am a better person because of her. Love you bigger.

August is normally a bit hectic for us.  We are usually trying to cram in a bit more fun before school and getting everything we need for school, but it's just a little weird, like everything else this year.  We introduced Esme to Bee Movie which was the first movie Jimmy and I went to together on our second date.  She thought it was really cute and has been asking to watch it.  Parker continues to be a good helper around the house with laundry and dishes.
We had the biggest storm o the year roll through the middle of the month.  We had just put the kids to bed when the tornado sirens went off and we got severe weather alerts on our phones.  We grabbed them up and headed downstairs just in case.  It was only about 15 minutes before the tornado warning was cancelled.  We found out the next day that an EF0 tornado briefly touched down about 1.5 miles to our northeast.  A friends house was right in the path.  They lost several trees which tore the power line from their house, but otherwise left it untouched.  There were a ton of large branches and tree down and thousands without power in the area.  We were lucky enough to keep our power.  This house has been much better than our old one in that regard.
Esme has been coming in to our room a lot at night.  Sometimes we make her go back to her room and sometimes we let her stay.  I know we shouldn't make a habit of it, but I don't mind waking up next to this cutie.
Some kids in our neighborhood set up a lemonade and cookie stand last week, so we walked over for a treat.  Parker loved the M & M cookie.  We also made another visit to the big pool and Parker really found his stride jumping off the diving board.
Finally, this past Sunday, we went over to my parents to hang out with them and John.  He brought his two dogs, Cooper and Drake.  Both kids had a blast running around with them and playing fetch.
I even forgot about Esme's previous allergic reaction to our nephew dog Gus back in February.  She has been around dogs a lot since there is one at daycare.  I think she needs to have a pretty intense interaction to show symptoms.  This was the first time Parker had a reaction to a dog.  Both of their eyes were itchy and watery and they had some swelling and hives.  Jimmy had a bath ready when we got home and they both got a dose of Benedryl.
Both them and the dogs were out quickly that night.  John also said they slept in the next morning as well and only do that after a day of hunting.  It worked out well for both of us!

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