Friday, March 24, 2017

Remembering Andrew

It's been a year.  I thought today would be really difficult and I would spend most of it being sad, depressed, teary-eyed, and sullen.  Instead, the sun was shining, the breeze was refreshing, and the atmosphere almost intoxicating.  Plus, the people I was with (Matt, Alex, and Starla) made me laugh and smile all day long. 

We started with bowling at The Main Event (we are in Orlando).  They asked for the names for the scoreboard, so we went with variations to honor Andrew.  I was Andrew, Starla was Carson, Alex was Drew, and Matt was Justin.  If you ever played Halo with Andrew you would understand the Justin name.  When he was younger he liked that name, even asked me if he could change his to Justin, and that was his screen name for his entire Halo career.  For the record – I won the first round of bowling – and was the only one to break 100.  The second game, well I came in dead last with only Matt breaking 100 that time.

Matt and Alex played billiards and Starla and I played shuffleboard.  Then we had sushi.  Those who know Andrew well, know he didn’t like sushi and probably would not even have gone in the restaurant.  But, Matt said we had to mix it up, so we did.  We walked around a bit, bought a few souvenirs, then headed for dessert.  On the way to the car we had to get some mini doughnuts from the food truck – and they were delicious, Andrew would have approved.  Then Cold Stone Creamery provided another opportunity to enjoy something Andrew did – ice cream.  I’m pretty sure we were going whether he approved or not, since Starla had mentioned Cold Stone no less than 5 times today.

Afterwards we came back to the condo and played games, laughing much of the time.  Many thanks to these goofballs for keeping me smiling today and enjoying happy memories of Andrew instead of a day filled with sadness.

I was also the recipient of many texts, messages, and posts from friends and family who were thinking of Andrew, Matt and me today.  I’m so fortunate to have such incredible people in my life.  Thank you to everyone for remembering Andrew today.  I want to share some of these stories with you.

First, Cindy Finck, placed flowers at the cross where the accident happened.  They are beautiful.  She told Matt and me that she had a chat with Andrew while she was there and told him to watch over us.  She also said that just then she felt a breeze and knew it was him assuring her he was watching over us.  Thank you Cindy – I really appreciate it.

Next, Sherri Creech and Detrick Johnson (Andrew’s Director and Supervisor) met at his cross and placed a bow tie on it.  You see, Detrick loved for the men to wear ties at work and Andrew said he liked bow ties and if Sherri bought him one he would wear it.  She kept her promise, despite his passing, and placed it on the cross.  Love it!

At the hospital today, many folks emailed me to share that they were remembering Andrew.  Becky and Kim from the ED clinical staff presented a basket of goodies to the registration staff, which Andrew was a part of, because they had remembered and loved and missed Andrew too.  I was really touched by this sentiment as it was totally unexpected.  As a mom, hearing how much others love your child is truly precious.  Thank you Gwinnett Medical Center, for loving Andrew and remembering him in such a special way.

My sister-in-law, Caitriona, sent a picture of the tree we planted in their London garden last year on Memorial Day.  As she put it, “it was just coming in to leaf today”.  I talked with Chris, my brother, by phone a bit later, and he said within a few more weeks it should be blooming as well.

My friend, Tami Richards, was at the Georgia Swarm game tonight.  For those who don’t know, that’s the professional lacrosse team, a sport Andrew loved.  She remembered him and posted about it on Facebook.

The future family of my other brother, Michael, who lives in Los Angeles, sent thoughts, prayers, and love our way too.  This made me realize that Andrew was being remembered from London to Los Angeles today.  How awesome is that?  How could I not be happy today?  Andrew’s memory is still alive and he is well with his Nana, Mama Jean, and Jesus.

Thank you to everyone who reached out to us today in some way.  We are very appreciative and we are doing well thanks to all the love and support you give us.

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