After spending the entire day Saturday parked in my recliner, embroidering the table cloth project and watching the funeral for Senator Kennedy from start to finish (one could almost say it was a "dawn to dusk" deal), it was, for me, a very sad day indeed.
I know, I know -it's already been said here about the errors he made in his life, but too, I do believe the man tried his level best to turn his life around and to do good wherever he could. And as far as I'm concerned, for those of us who teeter on the edge of poverty much, if not all of the time, have lost a great champion.
Watching the funeral, hearing the eulogies given by his sons and President Obama, the tears came as I listened to his older son talk about losing his leg and he and his Dad going sledding together. Trying to climb that icy hill when the boy was ready to give up, to call it quits but his Dad wouldn't allow that. Now I can relate to that kind of thinking because it is what we do here in my home Every. Single. Day. with my grandchildren. Persevere! Keep on trying even when the kids are screaming and crying and things can get pretty difficult very quickly, you can't simply give up. You just take a deep breath, pray that someone will give you earplugs for your birthday or Christmas and then, keep on trying!
I cried too as MSNBC showed fillers between the funeral mass and the arrival of the funeral procession at the Capitol and again, at Arlington Cemetery as I heard and watched again and again, clips of Senator Kennedy giving the eulogy for his brother, Bobby Kennedy, and how he struggled to keep the words coming while stiffling his own grief and tears.
It was difficult to watch all of that and yet, I felt that I had to watch. That it was the only way that I could somehow show my respect for this man who had worked so tirelessly all these years and tried, time and again, to give of himself so that others could receive some bit of help in some way or other.
But enough of that. Today was a new day.
One that found Mandy, the kids and I going to my older daughter's house for a Pampered Chef Home Party. If you've never seen this stuff -all kinds of utensils as well as serving dishes, cookbooks and such - it really is a fun thing and they do have some great, quality merchandise too. I took my tablecloth along and after I had written out my order (which I knew in advance what I was going to buy) my daughter Carrie and I sat out on her front porch and talked over a cup of coffee while watching Maya and Kurtis run their little legs off as they zipped around, racing and chasing, all over the front lawn. Carrie then took the kids for two very long walks -kind of in hopes that all that sunshine, fresh breezy air and walking (great exercise, ya know) would bring an added bonus tonight once we got home and it was time for them to go to bed. (And though it took a little longer than I thought it would from them to come to a crash landing and go to sleep, finally around 10 p.m., both of them were down for the count without too many hassles!)
But the best thing of all happened as we were finishing up supper and my neighbor and good friend, Shirley, stopped by. Shirley is my neighbor who LOVES counted cross stitch in particular, but just about all embroidery in general. And like me, she loves a good bargain too.
Now I have a "membership" account with my favorite craft store (Herrschnerrs) and through it I get a 10 percent discount on anything I purchase from them. So, since I also know some of the items that they offer and that Shirley would like to get, if I see them on sale at a really good price, I let her know and if she decides she wants to add more stuff to her "stash" then I order them for her when I place an order for myself. It works quite nicely for both of us because sometimes the company also throws in a bonus of free shipping too but to get that free shipping, your order generally also has to be above a certain minimum. About two weeks ago, there were two things on sale that I knew Shirley was looking to purchase and there were a couple things I wanted too but my order alone wasn't enough to satisfy the minimum order requirements -that is until Shirley decided to have me get two of these things she wanted which gave me the minimum order requirement.
The order had arrived last Thursday and this evening, Shirley stopped by to pay me and pick up the items I had purchased for her.
Of course, since she hadn't been here in a little while, I had to show her the tablecloth I'm working on now, the sweater I finished about two weeks or so ago for Maya and also, the stuff I had purchased last week too.
We were standing in the living room, talking about the tablecloth and Kurtis came running into the room. He stopped in front of Shirley and then gave her a big "HI!" She was a bit surprised because in the past when she has stopped by the house, he usually would just pretty much ignore the fact that there was someone besides the immediate family here. But that was Kurtis before he started going to school and today, he was showing off that he can be very friendly and a lot more open now.
She remarked about how much he has changed and I spoke to him, asking him if he could say "Hi, Shirley." He stood there a couple seconds and then said it -"Hi Shirley!" Okay, the Shirley part wasn't clear as a bell but it was more than obvious that he was trying to say that. So we praised him, told him that was really good, great talking, etc. And that, he understood -the praise part. And he then got really excited -also very loud too -and began repeating that over and over again!
In the past, he would never have come up and spoken -or tried to speak at all -to her much less also repeat the words "Hi, Shirley" over and over! But today -well, I'd like to think it was a bit like young Teddy Kennedy trying to climb that icy hill and just as he succeeded, so did Kurtis.
Different battles, you say? Well, maybe it is. But then again, speech is not something that comes to autistic children very easily in many cases. In some cases, if it does come at all, it is a much longer, more drawn out process taking years and years to achieve what to the rest of us is a simple little sentence of greeting.
I can't guarantee that the next time he sees Shirley that he will remember her name but the odds of that happening are greater now than they were yesterday.
He's still got a long, long way to go but at least he's willing to try to exhibit a little friendlier demeanor and also, trying to listen to the words and repeat them too.
And for us -well, we'll just take the good part of this and keep on working with him, encouraging him at every opportunity to keep climbing up that icy hill!
Now I need to check the yarn sales for this week and do a little figuring here of which yarn I want to purchase so that when I am ready to start work on the cape pattern I got about two weeks ago, I'll have all the skeins I will need to use, ready and waiting for me to tackle that!
Time for me to climb a hill of my own now too as I also need to get back to working on my tablecloth as well. Got lots and lots of projects just waiting for me to dig into and get as many of them as possible done between now and December 25th, ya know!
And so it goes -upward and onward. Right?