Its been a pretty difficult couple of weeks and I fear the next month or so will be just as bad or worse, emotionally. We've had some wonderful moments and some very sad ones too. Moo (my stepdaughter) had her very first recital this past weekend. She did wonderfully! She's been attending the same dance studio that my Lauren danced at for years!! Lauren pretty much lived there and took countless classes, tap, jazz, ballet, etc. She loved that studio and everyone (the owners, teachers, students) as well. I, in turn, also ended up living there as well, driving Lauren to and from, helping with recitals, building sets, painting, helping backstage, dance competitions, etc. When Lauren died, Michele (one of the owners) was in the first group of people I called. Everyone at the studio came in droves to the funeral, they gave me some items that I cherish greatly as reminders of Lauren and have respectfully been there for me ever since. I so love them! So, honestly, there just isn't any other dance studio I could take Moo to (though her mother has issues with it - but that's another story). I've doing pretty good, emotionally, as far as taking Moo to classes. The first time was pretty hard, but everyone has been so very supportive.
Then came the recital. Oh boy....now that was a tough one. Mainly due to one of the teachers lovingly decided to create a dance in tribute to Lauren. I knew about it, pretty much from the get go, though I never saw any of the practices, even at the dress rehearsal. I was supposed to go to the afternoon show (they have so many classes that they split the classes into two shows) and preview it, as a buffer, but I couldn't go because of some other sad news that I'll get into shortly. So, recital night, I picked up Lauren's half sister (from her dad, he and his family were invited but he wasn't emotionally up for it) and off we went. Let's just say I haven't cried like that in a while. It was beautiful. The girls did wonderfully and I know Lauren would have loved it. I swear I could almost see Lauren dancing with them.
As a "thank you" to the dancers in the tribute dance, Michele, Tracy and Shannon (owners and teacher) I brought roses for all of them and presented the flowers to them at the end of the recital. Though the anxiety was pretty extreme before I got on stage, once I started talking, I was fine (relatively speaking :). It must have been the theatrical part of me kicking in. I know that these wonderfully beautiful people will be in our lives for a long time to come, especially since Miss J seems to have a propensity towards dancing as well!
The really sad news is Hubby's best friend died in a head-on collision Friday morning. He and his wife were traveling to Vegas for the weekend and an 80 year old man crossed the center line and the rental car was pretty much demolished. Due to the location, it took a while for emergency responders to get to them and I believe, he died on scene. Thankfully, his wife is physically okay and they hadn't brought their 2 year old daughter with them. If you happen to be the praying sort, please be so kind to say a prayer for Hubby's friend and his family. I know I haven't mentioned their names, but I'm pretty sure God can figure it out.
Happier news, I had a birthday this weekend, sadder news I'm just that much closer to the big 40! Ugh! Though with my birthday, 11 days later is my Lauren's birthday. Still not sure what we'll be doing that day to celebrate her life, though I have been kicking around some ideas (letting go of some message balloons - I can so hear the greenies having fits over that one, just visiting her by myself - though I think I'll do that anyway or something else...just not sure yet). Just like people keep asking me about the anniversary and what I'm going to do, if anything. Honestly, my first gut feeling is to stay in bed all day, not really feasible as I'm sure Miss J would like to eat, play, have diapers changed, drink etc etc...yeah so that idea is out. I'll figure something out, as I usually do, just like I now need to go figure out something for dinner...hmmm there is some steak in the freezer and some sweet potatoes that are screaming "eat me".....see, EASY!!!