With great anticipation, I traveled back home to Ohio last week to visit my family. My agenda was full and a variety of important events were scheduled making this an especially jammed packed trip.
Five months ago I made my plane reservations so I could attend my great niece's first birthday party on Saturday. As I've said here before, she's the first of a new generation in our family and the joy she has brought us all has been endless since the day she arrived....
It's been nearly six months since I saw our now still tiny 16 pound sweetie-- all 27 inches of her in person, but her mom, my oldest niece, sends me daily "pictures of the day" to keep me in the loop with her progress through the first year of life. Those photos fill my heart with love and have me checking my iPhone each morning the moment I open my eyes.
Our birthday girl 1 year old!
The birthday bash was filled with friends and our great big, loud family. Held in a beautiful park with old fashioned games for the older kids to play and plenty of food to keep everyone well fed. Our party girl did a great job of smearing cake all over her face and never fussed once at the sweltering hot temps or being passed around to all 45 guests to receive kisses and hugs.
It was a glorious day but one wonderful person tugged at my heart strings as we celebrated-- Did you know blogger Kathy from Four Dog Day? She last posted gorgeous photos of her first grandson, four week old Graham on October 22nd. The week prior to that, Kathy posted about her struggle to keep up with blogging, working full time and the tug of war of activities that come with life in general. And we hadn't heard from her since.
Kathy and I wrote numerous baby related comments and emails as we anticipated our bundles of joy. She could not wait to be a grandmother and share her love with the next generation which is why I thought she had been too busy to blog for the past six months.
Sadly, that was not the case.
Recently Kathy's children posted her farewell. As Kathy questioned the time to blog in October, she also sensed something wasn't quite right and scheduled a doctor appointment.
In a heart-felt message from her family, we learned that appointment lead to not great medical news and of Kathy's brave but short battle with cancer. After four surgeries, 2 trips to rehabilitation plus radiation and chemo, Kathy lost her battle.
My eyes stung as I read the post and the sadness between the lines as her family told her brave story. Kathy was a wonderful, creative, positive person who I miss deeply even though we never met in person.
As I watched my great-niece celebrate with her first birthday cake, I know how thrilled Kathy would have been to participate in baby Graham's first birthday this coming September 24th.
Although I have no doubt Kathy is looking down on her family with pride, I so wish she could be here in person for her grandson to know and love.
If you have a moment, please stop by Kathy's blog and show her family some love. I'm sure it will mean the world to them.
Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins