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Sunday, May 29, 2011

happy you're healthy and here day!!!

One of dearest friends, Charissa, had Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma when she was senior in high school. She started her treatments on May 26, 1995 and finished them a year later to the date on May 26, 1996.

This past Thursday she had been cancer free for 15 years.

Her partner Mindy, the least conniving person on the planet, plotted, planned, schemed and lied to throw Charissa a surprise party this past Saturday.

I, for one, LOVE surprises and this was no exception.  And what at WONDERFUL thing to celebrate!

Tricia and I were recruited to the decorations committee and we took our charge very seriously.    

Saturday morning the girls and I set off in the rain to collect flowers from around the yard and down our street.  Maya was a fan of plucking blossoms one by one and tossing them into the water while Ella took the cut it close approach leaving not a shred of steam for the poor flower to drink.  Ah well.  It was fun and they felt very helpful and I snuck around them cutting actual flowers that were usable.

Sorting rocks and marbles to put in the bottom of the vases.

I simply used cleaned glass jars for vases, Trish had the rocks and marbles and the flowers were from my garden.  These darling little centerpieces for the wonderful price of free.

Mindy was very wise to secure tents for this affair so it could be held rain or shine.  I never could get a good photo of the lanterns we hung (unlit) but they looked cool and at the end was a Chinese prayer flag with symbols for love, tranquility, peace, etc.
Charissa had been whisked off to the spa for the morning with her sister Stephanie (behind her in this photo) and she was thoroughly shocked when she approached.

Charissa mother had flown in from Alabama to surprise her!

Charissa and Mindy

And, of course, no family party is ever complete without the kiddo doing something ridiculous and hilarious.

It is a very strange feeling to look around your life and wonder if you had made that right turn instead of left how your whole life may have ended up different.  If I had never had scheduling conflicts with the massage therapy school I wanted to attend I never would have ended up at the school I went to.  And I never would have met Sandi and we would never have these kids and this family and nothing in my life would probably look the way it does in this moment.  All for one scheduling problem. Thank goodness for that problem which was such a headache to me at the time.

It is hard to imagine my life without Charissa.  If she had not survived and she and Mindy and Emerson had never been a family...well, I don't really like to dwell on it, but it makes me so very, humbly grateful for all the left hand turns instead of rights, for the delicate, intricate weave that makes up this life. 

Happy to your health day Charissa!  We love you so.

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