Thanks for your patience... it's been a long week. The memorial service yesterday was wonderful. It's kind of weird how something so painful can also be beautiful and special. I believe that the service painted a very true portrait of Ellie as she was, with all of her adorable quirky ways. We darkened the room and lit it with twinkle lights, and just celebrated all that made Ellie... Ellie. Larry Brown, who married us over 13 years ago, flew to Montana and did Ellie's service. His encouragement to us all was so comforting. Loretta even agreed to get up and speak about Ellie and she did such an amazing job providing the sweet, endearing, and often funny details of Ellie's life. We also had a slide show, which encapsulated Ellie's nine years. All in all, the day was just exactly what it should have been - a day to remember and honor Ellie, and a day to give thanks to God for the nine years that we enjoyed her.
At present, I am exhausted. I have spent the day sorting Ellie's things. I suppose that there are many ways to do such things, and I imagine that there is no wrong way... but I had a very strong need to do it now. I am so afraid of waiting until the job is unbearable. I also wanted to bring some things to Florida for Ellie's friends. I know that it's what Ellie would have wanted, and seeing her friends enjoy the things gives me such pleasure. It's hard to explain, but it's somehow very comforting.
Thank you all for your prayers for us - for continuing to understand how much we need them! We fly to Florida tomorrow, but the weather conditions across the country make it very unlikely that we will arrive on schedule. The Florida memorial service will be held in the Orlando area on Tuesday, January 15 - I will get more details to you later. We will be in Florida until January 24. I have been so pressed for time this week, that I've been unable to contact my friends and family in Florida, so I was wanting to use this forum to send out a kind of "mass message" if you will... We really want to see everyone, but we hope that you will bear with us as we take some time to relax and decompress a bit. We plan to take some time to settle in and then John and I will be taking a couple of days and nights to spend time alone together. During the upcoming days, we will not even be answering our phones, so please don't feel badly if we don't make contact until around January 5. Those of you who know how to contact us will be able to leave messages if there is a pressing need. Thank you so much for your understanding! We hope to emerge refreshed and ready to enjoy your company.
And to those of you who will be checking the blog regularly, please don't worry if you don't hear from us for the next week. No news is probably good news. We are doing well for the time being. The grief come in waves sometimes, but there have also been some happy moments. Thank you, as always, for your love and support.