Fifteen years ago today I received one of the greatest blessings of my life...my daughter, Bethany. I can't even begin to express the amount of joy she brings to our lives. She has an outgoing, fun-loving personality...pretty much the opposite of me, actually. She definitely got that from her dad, along with her athletic ability. She's had a difficult path to walk over the past couple of years...sometimes she feels very alone, because there's really no one in her life who truly understands what she's experienced. There are just not very many kids her age who have lost a sibling. She does have a good friend named Kristin, who was really there for her throughout Hannah's illness.
During the final ten days or so of Hannah's life, Kristin's mom brought her to Little Rock every evening (about an hour's drive each way) so Bethany could spend some time with her friend each day. What an amazing blessing that was! It was great for Bethany to be able to decompress with a friend during those extraordinarily difficult days.
Right now, we are enjoying some much-anticipated vacation time on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Kristin is spending the week with us, and we are really enjoying her company. We had some rainy, chilly weather for the first few days of our trip, but today dawned bright and beautiful...not a cloud in the sky. And not a tar ball on the beach, either, by the way. We've had lots of Coast Guard helicopters flying over, and we've seen some official-looking people on the beach, but so far, so good. It is so beautiful here...it will be a real tragedy if the oil does come in.
Tonight, we drove to Pensacola to eat at Outback Steakhouse to celebrate Bethany's birthday. We kind of hated to eat somewhere we could go in Hot Springs, but over the years, it's become sort of a family tradition to go to Outback on birthdays...so, of course, we had to go there. On the way, we stopped and got Bethany's birthday present...an iPhone! She was sooooo excited. Hope we can get her back out on the beach! (-: Enjoy the pics....