We have a dear friend, Angie, the daughter of our neighbors, who used to babysit David and Katie. She would come for one day a week in the summer, so that I could have time to do errands, or just something I would like to do, on my own. (My mother is the person who strongly advised me to do this for myself every summer, based upon her own experience of having 3 kids in 5 years, and NOT having much babysitting help.) We also called Angie to come when we were going out on a date, etc., when the kids were younger. By the summer of 2006, they were so close and so fond of each other that my kids had taken to calling Angie "Sitter-Sister."
Angie is a great role model, because she is sweet, kind, honest, loving, faithful, strong, funny, wholesome, intelligent, hardworking, spontaneous, pretty & stylish (but not vain or self-centered), and she is WONDERFUL with children. She never let the kids get away with things that were wrong; she always enjoyed cooking (and baking), and never, ever left a dirty kitchen for me to clean up when I came home. She is a natural-born teacher, the kind of person who would bring her own play equipment with her, such as craft supplies or (David and Katie's favorite) playmobil. David and Katie were playmobil fiends, and Angie was right there with them. She would bring part of her collection, and they would set up scenarios and play together. Our loft (the room at the very top of the house) is still a playmobil city, and David does not feel ready to move or change anything that he and Katie set up. Only Liger (our gray cat) has a habit of bringing pieces of playmobil downstairs.
Angie was one of the few people who Katie allowed to visit her at Ronald McDonald House, when she was very sick and did not want to be seen. Angie was home from college, and came over with her friend Rosanna; they were totally natural and loving with Katie, so she was relaxed and enjoyed their visit very much. When Katie was back at home, Angie came over to hang out and visit, just like always. When Angie brought her fiance, Danny, over to meet us, they both got on the floor and played games with David and Katie. We liked Danny right away!
Angie and Danny got married yesterday, and David and I attended. Gregg would have joined us, but he was flying home from Spain at the time.
I was a little anxious about attending the wedding without Katie and Gregg. I love weddings; I'm a romantic at heart, and Katie loved weddings, too. She also loved Angie, and would have been utterly THRILLED with this event. Of course I felt that she should be attending it with us. Some of Katie's friends were going to be there, and I imagined that it would be especially hard for me without her, seeing her friends there, but it wasn't. I was glad to see them. It was beautiful and sweet to share in Danny and Angie's happiness, and to celebrate their love. We were grateful to be invited, and we would not have wanted to miss the chance to support them as they made their vows on their wedding day. They shared their faith, their joy and their history in ways that were original and meaningful. The reception was one of the most beautiful, lovingly thought-out that I have ever attended.
I am finding that my anticipation of the pain of doing things without Katie is sometimes worse than the actual event itself. So I think that perhaps I can be a little more peaceful, and even optimistic, when I think about doing some of these things now.
We wish Angie and Danny an adventurous, growing, love-filled, lifetime of happiness together. WE LOVE YOU! God bless you and your marriage.