Yesterday would have been Debra's birthday. Sofie decided we'd do all the things Debra liked with purple being a theme! Sofie got dressed in the morning wearing her purple Camp Kesem t-shirt, I wore my Malaprop's t-shirt that had purple in it. We had a cuddly, low key morning with the emphasis on cuddles(something Mama Debra and Sofie loved to do!)
After lunch our friends from school and church, Mom Kimberly and son Avery, arrived after dropping sister Olivia at an all afternoon birthday party. It was such a beautiful Spring-like February day that Kimberly and I sat out at the table and chairs in the front yard while Avery and Sofie jumped and jumped and jumped on the trampoline. At some point the kids went in a played with Sofie's zoo while Kimberly and I continued to chat and bask in the warm sun. She kept admiring the neighbors’ backyard...they have a preschool, so it's an awesome backyard! Kimberly used to run a daycare in California, so their backyard had all that fun stuff, too. She's wanting to convert their backyard into a nice play area for the kids. So we walked over and she checked out all the things they'd created for their school. (Donna, I hope you don't mind!!) They had also created this wonderful play area around the now dried up creek bed...normally there's some water. I'm sure the kids love that area.
After perusing the school play area, we went back over and suggested it was time to go to Locopops...another thing Debra enjoyed. We piled into Kimberly's van and headed to Locopops. Sofie got coffee flavored, Avery cookies and cream, Kimberly got something with Raspberry and Rosemary and I got Raspberry Mojito...all were delicious!! After enjoying the pops outside in the warmth we piled back into the van and headed back home. The kids jumped and jumped again and Kimberly and I sat in the living room and chatted about all kinds of things. At some point the kids wanted to play the Wii, so I sat that up for them and they played until they got to a level that was too hard...then they jumped some more!!
They left around 6p and Sofie and I headed to the grocery store to pick up cupcakes and stuff for the feast we had planned in honor of Debra. While at the store, Betty and Delma called. They wanted to know what we were doing for dinner, so I invited them over for the birthday celebration and feast! I added a few desserts to the cart, picked up a few groceries and headed back home to cook a feast. Since I'd only thawed enough chicken for Sofie and I, they picked up a box of Churches fried chicken...yummy. As we were setting out snacks to feed on before dinner, Sofie said Debra would have liked this...she liked parties! So Betty entertained Sofie...or was it the other way around...while I cooked and chatted with Delma. The feast was prepared and we all gathered around the table. Sofie asked us to hold hands and she said her version of a prayer. I was a beautiful sentiment and tribute to Debra...this kid amazes me sometimes! We all feasted and chatted and had a merry time.
After dinner, Betty and Delma were entertained by Sofie as she "showed" them her movies she'd made...not quite sure what that meant but they were in her room for quite some time!! I printed out a few pictures that Betty and Delma requested and cleaned the kitchen while they were having fun. I brewed a pot of decaf, got the random desserts out and sat down and actually rested for a few moments! After making coffee for everyone, we sat down and sang Happy Birthday then gorged on desserts. We did a few other things in honor of Debra then the girls headed home and Sofie and cuddled in bed. It was a wonderful day and we know Debra was right there with us, enjoying every moment.
Today Sofie is going to a "remembering service" that Duke Bereavement center had planned for today. It's only for children. She's taking a picture of Debra and will join 10 or so other kids who've lost significant people in their lives for a celebration. Parents or the other adults will meet and chat about grieving and helping the kids through it. If it's 1/2 as good as it sounds, I'll be quite pleased!