A few days ago was the anniversary of my sister Katie’s passing.

Everyone says the first year’s the hardest, and I hope that’s true because I still miss her so much.

But it will be ok.

A lot of people have asked me how her family–her husband and six kids–are doing.  I’ve been super impressed with them all.  Her husband Robert always tries to be cheerful, and the kids are such good kids and are always trying to do the right things.

My mom’s impressed me most of all, though.

Every morning, she’s up at the crack of dawn and over at their house, where she wakes up the kids with a lot of “Good Morning” songs (she has an entire arsenal of those) and gets them out of bed.

She then organizes them into teams and leads them in a clean-up of the house, which they really enjoy!  How do I know they enjoy it?  BECAUSE I HAD TO DO IT EVERY DAY OF MY CHILDHOOD AND I LOVED IT!!!!!!!*

*or else

Anyway after that she gives them a treat, and then does all their hair and helps out with breakfast.

(I told you she was amazing.)

Katie Day was hard on the kids, of course.

Partly because the oldest kid, Christopher, got in a car wreck while he was driving home from his job at Arby’s.  It totaled his car.

Naturally he was feeling pretty crummy about this.

Mom tried to make him feel better by telling him a story about my dad.

On the very first day my dad got his driver’s license, he parked in front of his neighbor’s house.

As he was backing up to leave, the neighbors in the window started waving at him.

“What friendly neighbors I have!” he thought

…as he backed into their brand-new Mercedes.

After that, Chris felt a little better.

 

We visited Katie’s grave, too, that day.

And by “grave”, I mean, actually, mound of grass.  There’s no headstone yet.  I know!  It’s been a year.

The reason is because the hired gravestone company ended up being waaaaaay behind on their contracts.  So behind, in fact, that the newspaper did an article on how squirrelly they’ve been and all the people shafted by them.  They have terrible BBB ratings.  It’s quite the scandal.

I know there’s options, like getting a lawyer to get the money back, or just eating it and finding another place to do it, but the guy’s promised it would be done by July.   Hasn’t happened, but maybe they’re close.  Anyway right now its just a mound of grass.

Lame.

I told my friend that night about how kind of a bummer this was

and as it would happen, just that night before she had been playing bunco with another neighbor, Suzanne, who was talking about how she’s started a charity that makes temporary gravestones for children.  When contractors make granite countertops, the ovals they cut out for the sinks are just thrown away.  So she takes those ovals instead and with another neighbor’s help, puts vinyl lettering on them and lacquers them and parents are able to mark their children’s graves until they decide what to do for the gravestone.  The graveyard won’t take the stones away because they know they’re markers.  They actually just finished making gravestones for the little quadruplets that passed away in Spanish Fork.

My friend immediately contacted Suzanne

And within 30 minutes, Suzanne was at my door with the marker in her arms.

It looks amazing.

And ya I’m still crying :)

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