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Sunday, December 11, 2011
Ten Things That (Still) Make Me Smile
And now...back to my list. Several weeks ago, I posted about Ten Things That (Still) Make Me Sad. For quite awhile now, I've been wanting to add a new post..."Ten Things That (Still) Make Me Smile". As a matter of fact, a couple of weeks ago I actually wrote the entire post, but then lost it when my laptop crashed. Then basketball season began in earnest, and blogging has been on the back burner.
So, I want to make another attempt to share the "Ten Things That (Still) Make Me Smile", even though Hannah has been gone for almost three years now...
1. Her complete lack of athleticism. Hannah definitely took after me in her athletic ability. Oh, she tried. She played soccer, softball and even basketball when she was younger, but just running down the field or across the court required a supreme effort from her. But the best thing was, she knew she wasn't an athlete. I can't even picture her running without a smile on her face. And that still makes me smile.
2. Her obsessive-compulsive tendencies. From the time she was little and lined up all of her bathtub toys by height along the edge of the tub...until she was old enough to drive and always had to have the volume on her radio set on an even number, her OCD made me smile. And in her honor, I always smile as I set my volume on an even number, too (or a multiple of five, which was also okay with her)!
3. Wearing her sweatshirts. I always enjoy wearing her sweatshirts, even though I'm probably too old to wear clothes from Aeropostale. It's almost like getting a hug from her, and that makes me smile.
4. Her tendency to always lose games. No one enjoyed family game night more than Hannah. But no matter whether it was Mexican train dominoes, Uno, Phase Ten, or Sequence...she invariably lost. I never could figure out why...she very well may have been the smartest one in the family...maybe she just didn't have that killer instinct. But the fact that she was always ready to play still makes me smile.
5. Sunflowers. Of all the bedrooms Hannah had over the years (we moved often when the girls were growing up), my favorite one had a sunflower theme. We painted the walls a sunny yellow, put up a sunflower border, and got a sunflower comforter. It was such a pretty room, and ever since then, sunflowers have made me smile.
6. Donating blood. Over the year of Hannah's illness, she was the recipient of innumerable units of blood products. I am so grateful for each and every blood and platelet donor who helped contribute to the length and quality of her life. And because of that, I donate blood every time I am eligible. Donating blood is a privilege that never fails to make me smile.
7. Her irrational fear of geese. When Hannah was little, we used to go to a park in Fort Smith where we could feed the geese and ducks. We'd bring a loaf of stale bread and spend the afternoon. One time, Hannah was holding a bit of bread between her fingers, and a goose nipped the very tips of her fingers as it took the bread from her. She ran to me screaming, and from that point on, she was terrified of geese. We always laughed about that, and the thought of it still makes me smile.
8. Our collection of JOY stuff. A couple of years ago, I decided to start collecting JOY items, as a reminder of the JOY Hannah is experiencing in Heaven right now. Her former bedroom is now our JOY room, and it is our goal to completely fill it with JOY stuff. We also decorate for Christmas with JOY, which helps ease some of the pain of experiencing the holiday without Hannah. In fact, last Sunday afternoon as we were decorating our Christmas tree, we realized that we had far too many JOY items to put on one tree. So, Bethany and I ran out to Wal-Mart and bought another tree. Now we have one tree with all of our traditional family ornaments, and one tree that is completely covered with JOY. Many of these JOY items have been gifts from very special friends, and each and every one of them makes me smile.
9. Her love of cheesy Christmas music. Every year, when it was time to decorate the tree, Hannah would turn the TV to the satellite channel that played the classic Christmas tunes...you know, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Burl Ives, Brenda Lee. And she would turn it up loud, so loud we could barely hear each other talking. Hannah always was what some people call an "old soul"...and her love of cheesy Christmas music still makes me smile.
10. Seeing Hannah in Bethany. When my girls were growing up, they could hardly have looked more different. Hannah was tall, somewhat stocky, with brown, curly hair. Bethany was average height, very slightly built, with nearly white, wispy hair. Hannah had a rather lumbering walk (see #1 above), while Bethany skipped lithely on her toes everywhere she went. If you didn't know they were sisters, you would probably never guess. But now that Bethany is sixteen, I occasionally see glimpses of Hannah in her. Something about the way she walks down the hall, something about the tilt of her head, something about the way she laughs...for the briefest of moments, I'll see or hear Hannah. And that never, ever fails to make me smile.