December- This month still seems like a bad dream. It was 9:35 in the morning, I was taking a shower-Austin was sitting outside the shower door with his favorite book (of the week), “Corduroy.” I had the Lady Antebellum station on Pandora playing when my phone rang. It was Katie's ringer. Hmm...that's odd. She normally wouldn't call me this early, but maybe she found an awesome “before Christmas sale” that she has to tell me about? I quickly rinsed the conditioner out of my hair, dried off,put my hair up in a towel and called her back. She didn't answer the phone like she normally would. Instead, all I heard were tears and panic. I couldn't make out her words, but I immediately knew something was terribly wrong. I went into panic mode...thinking something had happened to the girls (her daughters) or her dad. My panic turned to disbelief when she uttered the phrase:
She sobbed louder.
“My mom is dead. I can't believe this happening.”
Katie and I met in 4th grade. She moved and then moved back in 10th grade. Our friendship immediately started where it left off. I'm 28 days older than Katie; we have always considered ourselves sisters and best friends. We have always had a “sisterly” connection that cannot be explained unless you've experienced it. It reminds me of the connection that twins have been said to have. We were always in trouble at school for talking or laughing too much. Yes, we would have disagreements and argue like sisters. I think that's the sign of a TRUE friendship...we didn't always agree and sometimes we got on each others' nerves. However, those times never lasted long. We always “got over it” and moved on as if it never happened.
In the almost 20 years of our friendship, I have never heard Katie so distraught. Johnnie Sue( Katie's mom) turned 50 in October. She died of a heart attack on December 12, 2012. Growing up, Johnnie Sue was like a second mom to me....loving and fussing at me just as I was her own. After all, Katie and I were inseparable as teenagers. Katie and her mom were truly best friends. She was so proud of Katie. Most of all, she adored her precious granddaughters: Kiley Faith and Kallie Grace. Johnnie Sue's death was sudden and unexpected. No one should have to bury their mother at such a young age. Johnnie Sue was a Christian- so there is a sense of peace that she's with her Lord and Savior. However, it doesn't ease the pain of wanting her here.
The weeks after Johnnie Sue's death were surreal. I felt like Katie needed space and time to grieve. At the same time, I (selfishly) couldn't help but want to talk to her all the time...just to make sure she was okay- even though I already knew the answer. I came to the conclusion that my job was to simply just be here and know that Katie would reach out when she needed to. If anything it taught me the true meaning of, “IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU.” In other words, don't be selfish. It's paramount to not take anything personal or make it about YOU. There's nothing that can be said to ease the pain of losing your mother. That was the most frustrating part...wanting to help take the pain away and knowing it was impossible. I prayed so hard for Katie. I still pray, And I still wonder WHY?? I don't understand why Johnnie Sue was taken away at such a young age? But I do have faith that God works for the GOOD of those who LOVE him.
More of December- Austin had his testing for the preschool PPCD program. I was worried how it would go because I've heard a lot of “horror stories” from other parents. I was pleasantly surprised. My little guy did great. I will say that the testing could have gone smoother had we stayed with ECI- as ECI helps a lot with the transition to school. Due to the fact that ECI in our area was useless- we dis enrolled and have been in all private therapies since the Spring of 2011. Thankfully, the school district has amazing therapists! We are very blessed.