Two weeks ago, Aunt Anda came up to celebrate her birthday in our home. One of my favorite things is to make a birthday dinner and cake for someone I love and especially someone I love as dearly as my Aunt Anda. She always came to Waynesville with Mama. Two peas in a pod, those two–it wasn’t right if one came up without the other so I’m thankful that she still comes and brings the essence and spirit of Mama with her, despite her grief. We end up talking about her constantly, reliving visits from the past, crying, laughing….loving. Aunt Anda is my surrogate mom now and her optimism and positive attitude are just two of the millions of things I admire and love about her. For us, Mama will never be truly dead if we keep her alive by talking about her and the lifetime of memories we both have with her.
|Aunt Anda’s birthday dinner|
|Aunt Anda with her grands and surrogate grands–she is as special to them as she is to me|
|Cousins = Friendship and Fun|
The next day was just as fun as the previous one as Amanda and Molly invited a few of my best friends in Waynesville over for lunch to talk about our trip to Ethiopia and Jones.
|World’s Best Sister #1|
|World’s Best Sister #2|
I am not kidding when I say I wonder every day why I was born into the life I am so incredibly lucky to lead. A loving, supportive family and friends who are like family….it just doesn’t get any better than that and I can hardly wait for Jones to look back on how much love and support he had before he even came home. Lunch was incredible–pimento cheese, fruit salad, black eyed pea salad, and Grandmother’s famous trifle for dessert. I was missing Ethiopian food desperately until I had a taste of this Southern comfort food!
|Tammy drove up from Atlanta with W after having a very difficult week–I was so touched that she made the tremendous effort to be there. Yet another amazing sister…|
|Lou holding her treasure from her requisite outing with Aunt Anda to the Dollar Tree|
|Linnea was one of my first friends in Waynesville|
In the late afternoon, Kathy and Eddie came over to keep the day festive (which they are both great at doing) and so we ate, talked, and laughed some more. L eventually came home with Buddy, after a trip to Asheville to find a new bike for Buddy’s birthday (they were successful)!
|Millie showing Buddy her Barbie Doll Aunt Anda bought her at their traditional Dollar Tree outing|
|My life in Waynesville has almost always included these two women–love them so much.|
The next morning, the festivities had to end but not without me prolonging the inevitable as long as I could. I made blueberry pancakes and a vegetable fritatta for all of our house guests before letting them start the trek to Atlanta and Savannah. It was a weekend I will hold near and dear to my heart for the rest of my life. Thank you, Amanda and Molly, and everyone who was part of the weekend, for taking the time to celebrate Jones becoming part of our family and community. I can’t wait to tell him how much he was loved, even before you met him.