After a weekend of crying and meeting up with fellow church members to pray, I'm feeling so much stronger and more able to finish thoughts and sentences. However, I'm still having a hard time putting my feelings into words. My friend Julie at Happy Catholic was also on our retreat team and went on with Jeanmarie to lead the next team as well. She had the same problem as I did with being able to verbalize her reaction but her guest poster, Mark Windsor, wrote beautiful words that have given me such comfort. Julie also added some humor to the situation in her description of washing her iPod! It was helpful to laugh in spite of the pain.
Here are a few tidbits that I've been remembering about Jeanmarie...
She was my secret prayer partner on a retreat team we were on together. She gave me beautiful cards and at the end, for the reveal, she gave me a card from some Carmelite nuns who she had called and put me on their prayer line because my husband and I were both out of work at the time...and I was 6 months pregnant!
She gave me a wall plaque for Big Bear's room. I had already picked out the bedding and curtains and such. They were made up of some beautiful greens and pinks and yellows. Jeanmarie had not seen them but the plaque she gave me could have come with the bedding - the match was so perfect.
Jeanmarie and her husband Frank adopted a daughter from China named Sydney. Sydney was born the exact same day as Big Bear. On the day that Big Bear came home from the hospital, Sydney was delivered to the orphanage. She was adorable and I'm so happy that they had the little time together that they did.
Last, we both had the same favorite verse. And I'll end with it.
May The Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
The Lord's face is shining on Jeanmarie, Matthew and Sydney right now. I'll never forget you sweet lady!
UPDATE: found one more picture that I HAD to share! Our retreat team did a skit and we dressed up like nuns and sang a song. Actually, I was a pregnant nun! Scandalous! I know!