My Dearest Max,

I am changing my titles from number days to actual titles. I am going to continue to write as often as I can, but everyday is becoming difficult.

My memory is shot right now, I am having a very hard time remembering most things. Most of the time if I don’t write it don’t I don’t remember. I am going to just continue doing what I have been doing and just start typing and see where it leads. I;m sorry if it turns into a jumbled mess of random thoughts again, but that just seems to be how my mind works right now. Your daddy likes to call it my spaghetti brain. We learned in a parenting class that we took that men and women’s brains are very different. Men think in boxes, basically they can only think about one thing at time. For example, if they are watching football, they are in their football box, so if you ask them what they want for dinner they have time to exit the football box, think about what you just asked, and then enter the food/dinner box. I have notice this a lot with your dad since I learned about this theory. On the other side women have spaghetti brains, everything is connected, so a women can go from football, to food, to recent news events, then to chores that need to be done, and maybe eventually get back to football, but most of the times keeps going onto one subject after the other without stopping. Some people like to explain it more as having too many tabs open on the computer web browser. LOL, well, that tangent went farther than expected, on to the title:Blessing.

Despite the great tragedy of loosing you we have been receiving so many blessings. Even before we lost you, we had decided that this was going to be a very humble, small christmas. Your father and I only got one present for each other, we even decided to forgo the traditional christmas eve pajama exchange for each other and just get the kids pajamas this year. We got the kids each a set of clothes and one toy each from us and then allowed them to do a sibling exchange with each other with a cap $10. Santa was going to give everyone one movie, one book, and one board game(since the kids have been requesting family game night). Memaw and Papaw did christmas early when they came up for thanksgiving, and spoiled the kids with presents. They were all ecstatic with what they received, as were Shawn and I.

Then while talking to my mom about what the kids wanted for Christmas, she decided that instead of getting them multiple presents for them to open at her house, she wanted to give them one present at her house and then supplement Santa! So now my kids will be able to come downstairs Christmas morning and be surprised by a larger collection of presents than what we were previously planning. They would be receiving Santa gifts closer to what they had been used to in past years and be getting at least a few presents that they actually asked Santa for. My husband and I don’t really care about receiving gifts ourselves, but we want our children to be able to receive everything their hearts desire. We know that is most definitely not possible, but we are so grateful that we have so many people willing to help us and that care just as much about our kids as we do.

Yesterday, when I drove up to the house(I just remembered I need to write about a couple things from that morning), coming home from MD, Alice (an older lady we met at the local library) was there talking with Shawn. She brought about 2 presents for each of our kids! As well as some food for us too. She brought us a 20 lb turkey and several side dish items for thanksgiving back in November. She has been such a blessing. She doesn’t even know us, she just happened to see the kids and I at the library one day, was so impressed with how well behaved the kids were, and asked if we were in need of help at all for the holidays. I had recently decided because of all the financial trouble and stress that I was dealing with that when people asked me if I needed I help I would say yes, because that is the truth. We do need help, I no longer feel like I can do everything by myself, and it is okay to ask for help, or accept help when it is offered. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for or accept help, it is a sign of strength and courage, because you are putting aside your pride and being honest and doing what is best for you and your family.

Then today, a lady from church called Shawn and asked if she could bring some toys over tomorrow for us to give the kids. She works with toys for tots and they had some left over toys, so she asked their boss if it would be possible to give them to our kids. She explained the situation to him, and apparently he live in our neighborhood! He said yes of course! She wanted to makes sure that we knew it wasn’t a handout and didn’t want us to feel bad about receiving it, she just thought that it would shine some light on recent events, and boy has it!!!

Everyone around us has been so loving and supportive and beyond generous! I can’t remember if I wrote about the several people that made us food for that first week after you left us for heaven, but I did not have to cook at all that first week. and we had enough leftovers from that food that lunch was covered as well, for your father and all of us at home! And boy was it delicious!

I have noticed so many blessings and I am trying hard to take notice of even the small things. On our way up to MD to pick your siblings up from grandma and grandpa’s we were going to stop by a gas station that I had seen was down to $2.09. Well when we drove by it was past 11pm and there was a truck just idling off to the side and it felt fishy, so we decided to pass it and just get gas at the next station we knew of, even if it was going to be slightly more expensive. Well when we got to the next gas station it was at $1.96!!! We filled your dad’s gas tank up for less than $30! That has not happened in a very long time.

Now onto Sunday morning and coming back home. Your dad had to leave before your siblings and I, because he had play piano at our church. Since I had gone to mass on Saturday night I stayed at grandma and grandpa’s with Juliette and Eoghan, while grandma and grandpa took everyone else to mass. Well then the fun started. Grandma called me shortly after they left asking where Zach was. He and snuck into the basement after he ate his breakfast and was sitting down there playing video games, so he ended up not going to mass. I started gotten things packed up and everyone came home except for Luke, who had gone to the store with Uncle Gene to get donuts. Now, we needed to leave by 11:00 to get back home to get the older ones to church by 2pm to help them decorate for Christmas. It was 10:15 and Luke still need to pack up all of his stuff. I think they finally got home at about 10:40. I told everyone to hurry up and eat a donut and get their stuff in the car so we could leave. Everyone finished up and it was 11:00. That was when Zach realized that he had not gotten his blanket pillow and dreamlite pillow out of Emi’s room. He went up there to get it and the door was locked. Emi’s door lock has been broken for quite awhile and everyone has been told to never lock that door, we had no idea who had done it. We tried to unlock that door for 15 minutes until I finally told Zach we had to leave and we could figure out something else for him to use until we come back up to MD for Christmas day. He was not happy, but finally agreed and we headed out to the car to get going. We then noticed that Eoghan was not in the car, everyone else except Zach and I had been in the car for that whole 15 minutes and no one thought about looking for Eoghan until we came out! So Uncle Greg and Luke went back inside to look for Eoghan…..Eoghan was asleep in Emi’s room. He had gone up there at some point, locked the door, did who knows what, and then fell asleep. Greg knocked on the door and called him a couple times and he woke up and unlocked and opened the door. Crisis averted, Zach was able to get his stuff as well. So that was the excitement that consumed yesterday morning.

Today was a pretty lazy day. Everyone slept in until about 9:30 then we ate and cleaned up and then I went and did some last minute shopping at JcPenney in Williamsburg with no kids. It was nice, I really love having your daddy home. When I got home I made homemade pizza for dinner and your(our) (Fairy) Godmother came over for dinner. We had a great time talking and hanging out with her. She loves you very much too! We all do!

Well, here’s to hoping that I continue to have good days. I feel so blessed and so loved right now, it is very hard to be sad.

Love always,