It was another great daddy/ daughter date at Jordan Creek in West Des Moines!
We kicked it off by Dad having his first ever Starbucks……
… and with gifting an unsuspecting mom (out with her little one) a gift card to enjoy the same!
Next stop was a movie….. The Wedding Ringer
We were getting nervous as we were the ONLY people in the theater up until a few minutes before showtime.
Good movie though…… This helped us with the “laugh” portion of our day 🙂
Next stop was our annual pilgrimage to The Cheesecake Factory…
This is the last place mom and I ate together on our last “girls day out” and holds such a special place in my heart.
Within minutes of being seated, a familiar face came to our table…..
Waiter Garrett, who served us exactly one year ago on our Daddy/ Daughter Date for Do It For Diana 2014.
HOW CRAZY IS THAT?????!?!?!?
Even better is the fact that he remembered us AND still has his “Do It For Diana” card that he was given last year.
With Garrett’s help, we were able to buy a meal for a
mother/ daughter duo who were out enjoying their day together.
It brought so much joy to my heart as he told us who he had found and described them to us!
Later that evening, I found this on my Facebook newsfeed and am so humbled and excited to share it with you:
Had the most wonderful experience today and hoping my daughter learned something.After eating lunch, the waitress came back with our check and said it was taken care of. A lady noticed Emma and I were having a mother daughter day and wanted it to be special. She lost her mom in 2011 and missed having lunch and mother daughter day, she wanted us to be aware of how special our time is together.
People are really amazing and I am truly blessed. #doitfordiana#payitforward
Unfortunately, the snow storm in Iowa cut our day short. Dad and I went our different directions and he was able to make it back to Southeastern Iowa without any problems, and we made it back to Minnesota with minimal snow along our route. Here, Eric had one last surprise for me……
The hotel clerk looked at me a little weird when I checked into the Eden Prairie hotel… With my drivers license stating that I lived in EDEN PRAIRIE 🙂 After we got passed the weirdness from that, I settled in with wine, chocolate and my “mom journal,” and had a relaxing night reminiscing and remembering.
One last gift… In the form of 12″ of hair.
As you go about your day tomorrow, remember to spread smiles along the way…. And Do It For Diana 🙂
Welcome to “Do It For Diana Day 2014”
I kicked off the weekend by updating my Mojitos & Munchkins blog with a few posts about Mom.
There is, of course, no better place to reflect than a coffee ship, sipping on my favorite vanilla latte!
Dad and I had another great day together…..
We laughed, we cried, we remembered.
We met at Jordan Creek Mall in West Des Moines, the spot where Mom & I had our last “girls day” together.
Dad chose a family (young parents with two small children) to buy lunch for…..
No meltdowns from their cute kids AND a free lunch!
What a great day for them…. And us!
This was my absolute FAVORITE part of my day…. After watching a movie with Dad, I bought a gift card to the theater and chose a family (mom/ dad/ college-aged daughter) to give it to. In our conversation, I discovered the mom I handed the card to had just lost her mother a month ago, she is also an elementary school teacher, and was herself from a small town in Iowa just like me. CRAZY!! It was all meant to be….. Right up until the moment she told me they were Cyclone fans and I jokingly grabbed the card back out of her hands! HA! Mom definitely had her hand in helping me pick someone. Very cool experience!
One last “Do It For Diana” gift to share….. Scratch Cupcakery!
My super special hubby surprised me with a hotel room for the night.
What working Mom EVER gets time to herself??
He told me to think about it as one of my many “girl’s weekend get aways” with my Mom.
I may not have her, but the memories are strong and it’s a great night to REMEMBER….
… to JOURNAL, enjoy cupcakes & wine….
… and soak in a bath with chocolate, Starbucks & a good book!
Love you, Mom!!
Grief is a roller coaster. It twists and turns through your body, leaving you exhausted and curious wondering what you will feel next. It is unpredictable, for you never know when you will experience the slow incline up, full of anticipation of what lies ahead in life. Likewise, you never know when you might creak your way onto a bend for which you are sure you will not survive the ride.
Sometimes, it feels like a pit in your stomach. You can’t accurately predict what message this “pit” is trying to send your way. It starts like an “I might be hungry” pit but you feel as though you never want to eat again. Then it morphs into a “my high school boyfriend just broke up with me” pit and you remember how you were devastated at the time. Oh, how you wish you could go back to that kind of “devastation.” You wish you had never been exposed to the truth – That that wasn’t devastation at all and it now sucks to know the true meaning of the word.
Sometimes, it feels like the worst headache you’ve ever experienced. Imagine your worst hangover…. Then double it. Imagine a sinus headache after weeks of coughing and sneezing… Then triple it. Imagine that dull, achy headache you get after staying up too long trying to finish a deadline for work… Only imagine it a lot more intense and lasting a lot longer…. Like a lifetime. You see, it isn’t a headache at all. This “headache” is your new brain. Your new brain trying in vain to navigate each and every day of your new life without that person whom you love. Your new brain is trying to adjust to living with this lifelong ailment, disability, truth.
On happier days, it sometimes looks like singing along with the radio in the car at full volume…. And feeling so proud that you finally can. Life is good! I’m singing along to the radio! Then, all of a sudden, you come to the top peak of your roller coaster and slam into a wall of guilt. How can you sing along to the radio when someone you love isn’t here?? How can you celebrate life when life has been pulled out from under you?? My suggestion: Accept the guilt. Accept the brief happiness. Enjoy the moment.
I woke up this morning with a headache so intense, I had to ask myself how much I drank last night? Is my stomach saying it’s hungry? Is it saying I might be sick? Oh, no… That’s right. Now it’s coming back to me. My stomach and my head are both telling me my mom is STILL dead. It’s a crazy thing, this grief. I feel like I am Bill Murray starring in the movie Groundhog Day… I know how each day will begin and yet I still have to go through the motions of reliving my reality. Now that I have ONCE AGAIN been reminded of my daily reality, I will myself out of bed. Only now, in this new life of living with grief, it is more difficult. It is no longer an act of hearing my alarm and willing myself not to feel sleepy. It is now an act of hearing my alarm and willing myself to ONCE AGAIN accept my truth and still decide to begin my day. What’s that? You can’t relate? Oh, you must not be able to share in my level of grief. Perhaps you are further along in your own grief journey. Perhaps you haven’t experienced grief in this magnitude. Perhaps you process things differently, as we all do. Perhaps I need to improve in my own mental stability? Here is what I have learned about grief. It is an awkward thing for everyone. Some people offer to sit by you in the roller coaster because they so badly want to do something to help you get through the ride. They will gladly hold your hand, hug you through it, and offer words of encouragement in many forms. Others passively sit by the ticket booth, watching from afar. They’d like to help you, but how?? Others see you weaving through the starting gate and bolt in the opposite direction of the theme park…. STAY AWAY FROM THE CRAZY PERSON! What if she cries? What if she yells? What if she doesn’t say anything at all??
To all those who have sat beside me on the roller coaster, who have watched and wondered from the ticket booth, and for those who have simply walked to another ride…. Thank you.
I am about to embark on the fourth anniversary of my mom’s passing. I continue to be securely strapped into my roller coaster seat.