This last week, I have had several memories of AnnaLeah and Mary take me by surprise with their intensity.
I just now found out that a friend, Billie Mills, passed away in Midland, Texas. I had written her personal and family history up into a book. Hearing about her brought back memories of the ways in which Mary and AnnaLeah had assisted me in the process.
AnnaLeah had suggested the self-publishing company which I used and even the name of my company, Family Jam Jars. They had both done extra chores while I worked on the book and listened to my re-telling of funny stories which I had heard from Billie. Mary went with me when I delivered the newly-published book to Billie on August 23, 2012–the day we were moving away from Texas. Mary used her camera to take pictures of Billie and I.
Earlier in the week, for some reason, I was reminded of the times we had been house hunting here in our new hometown (when we were renting). One house in particular, which we considered buying, had a sun room which we talked about turning into a bedroom for Mary and the dog we were going to get for her (Jim Bob). She had grandiose plans of taking the dog for walks past a nearby mansion which she imagined to be the house of a millionaire with a son of marriageable age to whom she would introduce herself.
Along that line, Mary had great fun imagining her future wedding which she would have at a water park and she and her groom would go down a huge water slide after saying their vows!
Just yesterday, I had a hard moment as I was thinking about some company who will be coming to our house today. They are another home school family from Illinois (heading to Seoul, Korea to be missionaries) with whom one of our family members has become friends. We have never met them but are looking forward to a fun afternoon/evening.
As I was thinking about it, I was gripped with weeping as I imagined how Mary and AnnaLeah might have enjoyed meeting them–with two of the family members being around their ages (what they would have been anyway today). In fact, one of them was actually born on the exact same day that AnnaLeah was — May 15, 1995 — and it takes my breath away when I think how AnnaLeah probably would have enjoyed meeting and getting to know someone born on her birthday.
Memories. Bitter. Sweet.