Yep, yesterday was a month (It was also Peter Gabriel’s Birthday). As Rachel says, it seems a lifetime ago. What has been happening to me, lately, has been that I’ll look at a picture of Charlotte and be surprised, “Woah! She’s gone, that’s right. Man, that’s weird.” The “moments” are always there.
Her stuff is still in her room, no real need to do anything with it just now, kids at Romp n’ Roll still ask about her including one at a Birthday Bash yesterday who I didn’t even know had met CJ, and I still think about her constantly.
The child yesterday asked, “Where’s your kid?” Who knows, maybe it was just a generic question kids ask. They do that sometimes. Mom was very cool about it. Sometimes, parents who know our story whither in embarrassment when kids do that but I have no problem with it. I love talking about Charlotte.
I answered the child, “Well, here’s a picture of her.” and showed her the picture box Annette made with CJ’s framed picture and all the great quotes (Thanks, again Annette. You’re so amazing!) And that was it. I think kids just need to be reassured sometimes. About what, exactly, I’m not sure. Just being “present” counts for a lot.
We really didn’t think a lot about the actual month out thing although it did cross our minds. Mainly because we were SO busy. We held classes at RnR, Rachel and Emily organized (I escaped that!), I got a replacement coat for the one that started falling apart on me, and there were two Birthday Bashes, one of which was a 2-hour party instead of our normal 90-min.
Both parties were a blast and very therapeutic. Every moment I spend in classes or parties at RnR seems to help me deal.
The weekend weather made us cancel Saturday morning classes for the second week in a row. There will many makeups to schedule.
Also as Rachel said, CJSTUF is moving right along! We seem to still be doing things the right way and when we finally get our official non-profit status, the flood gates of activity should open wide on all fronts. It just takes a while to get everything in place and thanks to our wonderful advisory council, it IS being done the right way.
That brings me to the latest CJSTUF stuff. The Monument Ave. 10k planning and TEAM CJ organization is progressing. We have a good problem which I might have already mentioned. Some enthusiastic members actually registered more runners/walkers on their codes than I had planned so if you have not registered and have trouble once you try, please let me know. I’ll bet it’s getting close to full.
I officially registered for the Chicago Marathon in October. That means I’ll be doing Chicago in October and Richmond in November. Oi! No fundraising for these yet. We’ll let you know. If anyone wants to do either one/both of these with me, let me know.
Thought I’d let you all know about the efforts and sentiments of others:
James Staudte is a friend from U of Miami and has been training like a mad dog and collecting pledges for CJSTUF. He’s been blogging about his experiences on his own page.
We also got a wonderful note from a member at Romp n’ Roll which pretty much recounts several stories we’ve heard about Charlotte and her activities when we weren’t looking. With her permission, I’ve pasted it below:
“Dear Rachel and Roger,
My thoughts and prayers have been with you for the past year. And it is with a heavy heart that I sit down to write to you how deeply sorry we are that Charlotte has passed. While I have no way of understanding what you are going through and will continue to go through as you grieve, I can share with you my memory of your sweet daughter.
Molly and I were visiting Romp n Roll for one of the first times at Open Gym. We were the only ones there until a charming little curly-headed girl bounded into the room. She immediately introduced herself…not waiting for me to initiate. When I learned she was your daughter, I thought what a lucky little girl to have parents who own this awesome kids’ gym. (The only thing cooler would be if you lived in a castle and owned a pony farm. J) Molly was just a baby so she wasn’t able to do much in the gym. And Charlotte took it on herself, as the proud owner, to show us how to utilize each piece of equipment. The funniest part was that she used her impeccable charm and manners to ask my assistance in “spotting” her or giving her piggy-back rides. I can still clearly see her adorable smile and hear her angelic “please”. And it worked. Almost to the point that I kept temporarily forgetting about baby Molly just sitting over by the little rompers area. Through her exuberance, Charlotte was able to show me what fun being a toddler was! I wanted to take her home with us. I couldn’t wait for Molly to get to toddlerhood so we could laugh and play like sweet Charlotte did!
So it’s a simple and brief moment in your child’s life that I am recounting for you. But I am sharing it because I want you to realize what a lasting impression she made on me in that brief 30 minutes or so. I imagine that’s how she lived her four years…to the very fullest when she could; charming people along the way. Charm is not always easy to find in other people’s children. Cuteness, sweetness…yes. But charm is a sign of someone special. How fortunate you are to be Charming Charlotte’s parents! And I know you realize that every day.
With our deepest sympathy,”
We LOVE stories like these. Please keep sending them if you have them.