"Seasons change, time moves forward but
true friendship never skips a beat"
I have written about our dear friends Diane and Larry in past posts. If you have time to read "Saying Goodbye" it is one of my favorite posts. My inspiration for giving handkerchiefs to parents who have lost a child came from when they lost their precious son Eric 12 years ago. You can read about it in that post.
On September 10th - 16th I was in the Chicago area for a family wedding on my husbands side. It was one of our best vacations and we had a chance to meet with Diane. It has been 12 years since I have seen her and 20 years since she had seen my husband Mark. Larry was unable to meet up with us due to a previous scheduled appointment which was very sad. I was looking so forward to seeing both of them.
Diane and Larry have always been our best friends. I knew Diane in grade school and we were all very close in high school. They were the kind of friends that we vacationed with before and after we had our children. They were the kind of friends that you stay up until the sun starts rising playing cards all night!
When we saw them 20 years ago it was for a class reunion. We moved to California over 24 years ago and prior to that I was divorced from Mark for six years. I know that they always had some hard feelings about our divorce but they accepted me taking him back. I remained good friends with them during those six years.
Twelve years ago in February I received a call from another good high school friend who told me about the tragic accident of their 12 year old son Eric. I of course immediately called them. You all know how people have a tendency to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Well Larry answered the phone and I said "How are you doing?" which I sincerely meant from the bottom of my heart but it really wasn't well thought out on my part. He said "Not so good" and we started crying. I told him how sorry I was for his loss and then I talked with Diane. I don't even remember our conversation. I do know that I was on a plane the next day so I could be with them.
So on Tuesday evening we meet Diane at a Claim Jumper and spent several hours sharing our lives. We laughed, we cried and it felt like no time had passed at all since we had last seen each other. When we were driving to meet up with Diane my husband said "We probably shouldn't talk about Eric" and I said "We have to talk about Eric" because I have learned this fact from all of you. Mother's of children who have passed away want/need to talk about them.
It wasn't the first thing we talked about but I saw first hand the deep sadness in my dear friends heart after missing her precious youngest son after 12 years. It shouldn't have to be this way and it broke my heart listening to her tell us of her 24/7/365 brokenness. I would have to say that this is probably the first time my husband realized what I do with my handkerchiefs and where my heart is with all of you.
Now this isn't where our story ended in Chicago and this is where my tears really start to flow as I type this post. God is so good. I couldn't make this up if I wanted to. We are driving home from our dinner and I told Mark "We didn't even take a picture." I was so bummed about it. How could a blogger not get a picture with her BFF. Well God made sure I would get that picture.
The week in Chicago was non-stop fun and I didn't have a moment to breathe except when I was sleeping. You can go over to my Just Breathe blog in a few days and read about our adventures. I am trying to get the trip down on paper but there is so much to share that it will most likely take a few posts. I actually am writing this post about Diane and Larry so I can link it to my Chicago trip posts.
So we had things going on all week and when Friday rolled around it was time to start the festivities of the family wedding. My husband brother married his best girl after living together for the last 7 years and we all thought it was about time since he is 45 and she is 39. Anyway the plans were for a day at the races, an evening cocktail party and then the wedding on Saturday afternoon. All functions were being shuttled from the Double Tree hotel so we could party hardy if we wanted to.
So we head to the Arlington Park Race tracks on Friday afternoon. My son's best girl and I were standing inside shortly after we arrived and were admiring several people who were all dressed up like they were at the Kentucky Derby. It was really cute to see them go all out.
So we place some bets, get our drinks and head outside to watch the race. We did this several times. Well I was inside going potty and when I came outside my husband was standing next to Diane and said "Look who I found." Yes Diane was at the races that day. None of us had shared this information on Tuesday because there really was no reason to. Who would have thought to share it, our evening was about talking about our pasts.
By the way Diane has always been one of the strongest woman I know. She was probably the only girl who cried in grade school when we were told that JFK was assassinated. That's because Diane knew the pain of losing her father to brain cancer when she was young. With pain comes strength.
So back to my story....Diane had won a day at the races from work. Diane has worked at the Corporate offices of McDonald's for years and years. Needless to say that was the day that was chosen for them to go to the races and they were told to dress up. My jaw dropped and my eyes most likely popped out of the sockets. I was in total shock and in awe of how this came about. See there are no coincidences only Godincidences! He really set us up didn't He?
So we got our picture and even better than that she got to see our children. That is my husband Mark on the left in the tan plaid shirt, next to him is our daughter Amber and her husband Dylan. In the front roll is our son Adam and his best girl Tristen (who is our DIL in our hearts). Adam keeps us laughing all the time.
(click to enlarge)
So our next plan of action is a trip to Chicago in 2014 for a class reunion and lots of special quality time with Diane and Larry. I can't wait........ I forgot to tell you that Diane and Larry are the very proud grandparents of twin girls who are now two years old. They got a double rainbow :)
Caprice and Jeff
If you are here to request a handkerchief for yourself or someone you love who lost a loved one please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org . I would appreciate a full name, address and a description of who passed away. If you have a link to a blog I would appreciate that also. Take care and God Bless. ((HUGS))