Thursday, June 25, 2015

There's So Much I Want To Tell You

(Not that I don't think about her at some point everyday, but as the calendar approaches June 25, the stark memories of our last few days with Mrs. Sue aka "Mamaw" begin to monopolize my everyday thoughts. The harsh reality that I can't pick up the phone and talk to her about the kids and Jan begins to weigh on my emotions. So, as I was doing laundry, an idea occurred to me. "I'll write her a letter. I need to update my blog. It's been a very long time since I've posted anything about our family, and this is supposed to be our family scrapbook! But it's also been 5 years since I last spoke to Mrs. Sue and there's so much I would want to tell her. Here I go again...writing is therapy.")

Dear Mrs. Sue, 

I can't believe it's been this long since we last spoke. There's so much I need to tell you, so much has happened since then. The children are growing up incredibly fast! There are days that I'm not sure I can keep up with them. I know you would laugh at our crazy life. But I'm not complaining. I'm actually thankful with every breath I breathe, despite the fact that there are days when we are running in all kinds of directions! I know if you were here, you'd love being a part of every bit of it!

John Owen is almost as tall as me...I can rest my chin on his head!! Seems like yesterday we were laughing at his first drink of soda at your house and the funny reaction he had to the carbonation. "Sip...AHH" Then we'd all laugh and he would smile big and do it again! And now, he's getting ready to start 6th grade AND MIDDLE SCHOOL!! (He'll be fine, but I'm not so sure I will be.) He looks so much like Jan, and anyone who has known Jan Wade for years comments on how much he favors his dad. I know that makes you smile. He's such a great swimmer and won 1st place in the 3 events he swam in at last night's swim meet in Dyersburg. He just skims right across the top of that water! This past year, he was in student council and the honor choir at school and he loves to volunteer/help with pretty much anything. Many people say he's quiet, and he is, but he's not too reserved. I think he has a great sense of humor, and his teachers have agreed. He just turned 12 and surprised me when he WANTED to try out for a speaking part in the church musical. He did such a great job as the 1920's character, C.W. Worthington. He still into Pokemon, LEGOS, video games, and his current fascination OBSESSION is Harry Potter. You know how he is when he gets focused on something...:) He's smart! He made the Principal's list for the whole year (that means he made all A's at the end of every grading period), and he missed perfect attendance for the year by 1 day and it was the day before his 5th grade graduation. Can you believe that?! :) He got a stomach virus and then broke out in poison ivy and another type of rash. I told him his body was rejecting leaving elementary school. He gets my corny humor and eventhough he might not admit it, he's a little cheesy like me. Yes, we are very proud of him. (And I know you are, too.)

 Jonah is almost 10! Remember when he gave you such fits as a toddler? Yeah, good times...:) He is tough, and he has grown into such a sweet, smart boy. (Kinda reminds me of Jan in a lot of ways...tough on the outside, but very sensitive and loving.) He is very much into his HAIR, which makes us all laugh. He'll spend time in the mornings fixing his hair in my bathroom until he gets it JUST RIGHT. All I keep thinking is, those girls better watch out! :) I don't think I've told you he was diagnosed with asthma, but despite the asthma, this kid runs races and actually runs fast! He left us all in the dust on a recent trail race. Even Doc Conley said he's good, and I know you know that means something. Jonah was our first child to have to stay overnight in the hospital (remember the tonsillectomy followed by the abscessed lymph node?) and he's our first child to break a bone. Yep, happened this past April 25th. That's right, on John Owen's birthday...while rough housing with the boys at the birthday party. Thankfully, it was only a very small fracture in his finger.
 Jonah also had a character role in the church musical and played the part of Daniel Worthington. He said a very nice prayer for his one speaking part in the play. And he did it perfectly!

He's still quite the finicky eater you might remember, but he's very close to the same size as John Owen. Not quite as tall, but almost weighs pound for pound the same. Somehow, I don't think that surprises you. He's solid as a rock and pretty strong. This year, he has discovered a love of ART! His art teacher says he's got talent, so hopefully, he'll stick with it. Jonah is funny, but in a slightly different way than John Owen. Jonah says the funniest things and will often puch away his brother and sister when they hug me and say, "That's MY Momma!" Somehow, I think I remember you telling me stories of Jan as a child and his jealousy when it came to someone hugging you. I am so glad you shared so many stories about Jan when he was growing up. I see so many of the same qualities in all 3 of the kids, and it makes my heart happy. Isn't this painting of the bluejay great? We have made a wall in his room his art gallery! He loves it!
 And, believe it or not, Mary Claire just turned 7! She has probably changed the most since we last spoke. Oh my goodness, she is a ball of FUN! Full of personality and just the most beautiful little girl! (Of course, we would be a little bit partial, right? :) Do you remember what you said to me as we talked on the phone after the docttors told me the scary things associated with her cortical dysplasia diagnosis? I think often about your reassurance that she was going to be just fine and that you BELIEVED she'd be fine, no matter what the doctors told me. Our relationship was never a strong one, but it was at that time that I truly believe our connection reached a turning point. Oh, how I wish you could have seen Mary Claire in her dance recital about a month ago! I love to watch her dance, and she loves to dance in the kitchen while I work.
 Jan is just a little bit smitten with her...
And I am totally o.k. with that. 
She just graduated from Kindergarten! Her teacher said she reads great, and we are working on math skills. Even on summer break, we are working on math!! 
She is on the swim team with her brothers and is steadily improving. She played Upward Basketball this year and I think we learned that she does better when I'm NOT coaching her team! :)Mary Claire is VERY social, and never meets a stranger. Sound like anybody you know? ;) Little Jan...

 Her 7th birthday party was a cooking party at our house! We had all kinds of fun making pizzas, fruit kabobs, and then decorating cakes! (Making all those little cakes about did me in. Not really, but it was a lot of work.) It turned out GREAT! See how happy our little chef was?
 Jan and I began running in 2011, about a year after you and I last spoke, and since then we have completed numerous 5ks (3.1 miles), 10ks (6.2 miles), half marathons (13.1 miles) and even marathon(s) (26.2 miles, I have run 2 marathons and Jan has run 1...He's training for his second one now! You know he won't let me outdo him!) Yes, running has become our hobby. The only time we get a babysitter these days is when we want to run and the kids can't (or don't want to ) go with us. Just a few weeks ago, Jonah ran in a popular Memphis race with us, and he got 3rd place in his age group! It was HOT! (Very humid as a storm was rolling in.) Remember Bo, Jonah's best friend? Bo got 2nd place! They were pretty proud to both receive a trophy.

 In closing, I want to tell you how thankful I am that you raised such a wonderful son. I know I've told you before, but not enough. You didn't have it easy, but you provided for him and taught him many things that have made him the man he is today. I know things weren't perfect, but nothing in life or love is. I think it wondrous that your face was the first face Jan saw when he entered this world and his was the last face you saw on earth. We all look forward to seeing you again!
P.S. I bought a special 2 liter drink at the store yesterday, so today, we are all going to enjoy a glass of FANTA grape drink and remember the times we sat in your kitchen drinking "the purple stuff". CHEERS!