The Gala is over...I have pictures from that and from the baby shower to post. My table turned out well, as did Mara's, which is amazing considering not 24 hours before the Gala we were lamenting how ugly we were sure or tables would be. It was great seeing friends, although my feet were killing me after just fifteen minutes in insanely high heels and trying to check roughly a billion people in with check in sheets that were not in alphabetical or any kind of order was..interesting to say the least. Computer glitches are really fun.
My friend Heidi, and a driving force behind our Gala every year came scurrying out from the back where she had changed into her dress mere seconds before the night began. I'm fairly certain she was at church all night the night before, along with some other hardcore, amazing people. She came up to hug me and say hello and started telling me about how many things were going wrong, how the computer program she had purchased was full of glitches and nothing was going the way it was a supposed to go.
Immediately, and concisely, which is crazy for me, which is how I know what I said next was a God thing, I said "Things are going just the way they're supposed to...that room is full of people who are here to support Northbay's vision. All the other stuff is just details."
As I went to sit down at my table and actually socialize, I couldn't help but think about how this year, John wasn't there. In fact, no one at the table could really help commenting on it, and I would be lying if I said that it wasn't on my mind a lot of the night. I remember him there last year, bright and engaged, and I think the reason I remember it so well is that it was maybe the last fun event we attended before he left. It was an eighties theme, and we'd spent all day shopping for the perfect outfits. He showed up that night in skinny jeans, an obnoxious teal graphic tee with a blazer over it, and a black fedora. When I saw him, he lit up the room. He was friendly and engaging, funny and sweet and he bid on basically everything I even looked at. At the end of the night, the runner came up to our table with a sheaf of bidsheets and asked him if he'd left anything for anyone else to buy.
Last night our friends commented on how much stuff he bought last year, all of it for me, anything I'd even mentioned in passing, and we all paused for a second, the air heavy. I wasn't sure what emotion I was feeling...regret, sentimentality, anger, sadnesss.... we all hook our heads and said, almost in unison. "Guilt Bidding." Then we laughed for a long time.
And it probably was. Or maybe not...maybe that night he was trying to be a good husband and show me how much he cared. I'll never know, and I'll probably never go to an event without remembering that night in some small way, the last night out we had, what it was like to attend something with him and not alone, how bright and special he could make me feel when he wanted to.
And as depressing as that sounds, it's not. I like having those memories, the ones that make me remember why we were together in the first place. But it is sad, to run out of "last years" with him, and know that now, for better or for worse, I am embarking on new years and new events where I will venture forth on my own and maybe, someday, with someone else who will light up the room for me in their own unique way.
But this year, even though it was on my mind, and it was sad, I was okay. Even though my life has had lots of computer glitches and setbacks and soap opera worthy drama, I am still blessed beyond measure. They're all details, not the big picture. I have gained the strength to go to a fancy dress party alone, where I have friends who have known me long enough to know that I don't want them to pretend he never existed, who know that, to me, everything is joke worthy, and that I'd rather laugh over anything than cry. Just like the issues with the computers with the Gala last night, the things that have happened to me are just that...issues to get around so that we can get on with the good stuff, the event, the supporters I am blessed enough to have in my corner who believe in me and my kids.
No matter how many bad things are going on, if you look hard enough, you can find the silver lining, too. And tonight, when I got on the computer to post, feeling down and depressed and planning to write a much different post than this one has turned out to be, I found myself clicking over to my friend SunnyMama's blog. She emailed me a number of months ago telling me that she and her husband were considering adopting a baby girl from Korea who was deaf, but that she was torn and had questions. She asked me some of them, and I was privileged to get to share Seth's story with her and get to know her better. Soon after that, they made the decision to adopt her, and I've been blessed to get to continue on their journey with them, getting updates and chatting with her every so often as they navigated the frustrating hurry up and wait process of international adoption.
After a long wait, they got to bring their daughter, Lennox, home from Korea, and it turns out that the waiting was all details, too. She's beautiful and perfect, and hopefully soon she'll receive the benefit of cochlear implants just as Seth has. But the coolest thing I noticed about every single post since they got to meet Lennox? Never once has her hearing loss been mentioned. Her family is completely, terrifically, head over heels in love with her. I'm incredibly happy for them and I can't wait to see more pictures of that girl's sweet face. Her mother describes what it's like to have her home in such sweet detail that I can hardly stand how happy I am for them. There are still good things happening in the world.
18 hours ago