My kids....My heart

My kids....My heart

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Today is the 8th anniversary of the day we said our last goodbye to you, Grandpa. It’s seems impossible that that amount of time has come and gone. Eight years is 2,922 days! Our family has been blessed with the miracle of new life during that time. Your legacy continues through them.

Grandpa, I miss you. The day that you went to meet my grandma was painstakingly hard. Everyone in your room knew that we were preparing our last goodbyes – but there was no preparing our hearts for the sorrow that followed. I wanted so badly to be with you at that time – Something inside of me whispered that my grandma would be there to meet you – to see you through. I prayed, secretly, that I would get another moment to be in her presence. I am eternally grateful that I was there.

2,922 days….. Where did they go? What did we all do with our lives in that time? Our lives have changed in many ways since you left us. We have grown together and we have also grown apart. The growing apart, for me, has caused such deep sorrow. But, in those moments when I am able to watch the next generation of “Ribordys” interact with each other, love each other and develop that inner relationship – that sacred bond of sharing the same genes, my heart sings and I delight in those moments. Family – the incredible – unbreakable bond of truly belonging to each other. There is no greater gift on earth than the gift of family. Thank you for the lifetime gift of my family.

Grandpa, I think about you often. Today my thoughts are centered in gratitude. I thank you from the very core of my being for making it possible for me to be surrounded by the family you & my grandma created. I am quite sure that there is not a word that fully describes the depth of my love and appreciation for the family I was blessed to have been raised with.

Eight years....unbelievable.

I love and miss you Grandpa - please hug Grandma for me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Simply Amazed

I am amazed and somewhat awestruck this morning. Yesterday was an incredibly emotional day. My Uncle Bill underwent open heart surgery. He not only had to have his aortic valve replaced but he also underwent by-pass surgery and had a portion of his aorta replaced. Every time I think or say or write “aorta replaced” I feel stunned. Can you imagine that that is even possible? Most of my family spent the day waiting, wondering and I’m quite sure, praying. I have been praying harder these last few days and really I’m grateful for it. Even prayer takes practice! My amazement does not stop, however, with the medical profession.
You would have to know my Uncle Bill to understand that even in the most stressful situation, and yesterday our stress level was at full peak, he will find a way to crack you up. I’m a full believer, even more today than yesterday, that making people laugh may be his purpose on this earth.
I want you, the reader, to try to imagine this scenario:
His family is sitting nervously in the surgical waiting room and about an hour in to his surgery, a surgical nurse comes in to give us an update. She tells us that Bill is doing well and he has a team of doctors working very hard but they did not get the procedure going right away because they encountered one difficulty. She definitely got our attention! Then she proceeds to say, “We had a difficult time getting this dress off of him!” Yes! It was MY RED DRESS! Can you imagine the laughter that broke out in that room? Bill – even in surgery – OPEN HEART SURGERY - found a way to make us laugh! I have always said he had the “anything to make you laugh gene.” It did not end there – of course Kathy & Candy (who may also have inherited the “gene”) video taped the nurse’s report & we watched it again & again. I’m thinking this video is hilarious UNTIL they break out with more of Bill’s classic work. On the day before his surgery, he had to go for a pre-op visit at the hospital. The perfect opportunity to create history….. He not only takes the Famously Funny Red Dress, but he and his accomplices find a way to persuade nurses, medical staff and even cafeteria workers to take part in wearing the dress and/or sending messages to me to be watched while he is having his heart repaired! Can you imagine it? Can you see us all sitting there – surgical waiting room – stressed that our uncle, brother, life partner, dad is having his heart repaired while we wait and he has us laughing our guts out to a video he made the day before? Only My Uncle Bill could or would do that – I love him for it.

This morning, I am totally amazed, and grateful and fully aware of how blessed I am to be in this circle. My family sat in a room yesterday that was full of love and engulfed in laughter. During an incredibly scary surgery we got through it by laughing hard, hugging a lot and being with each other. Bill made sure of it.

This story is definitely not over – I thank God and thank my Uncle Bill for that!