I’m Toasting you today because so much of who you are…who you were…is alive and well in your beautiful daughter and I want you to know that’s doing okay.
She was nine. Hugging her Molly doll, a blanket wrapped around her, that morning in the ER. She ran to us when we got there. And held on. Then she grabbed a hold of her cousin and they sat together while I joined Annie in your ER bay.
You said two things to us. “Call Mom.” and “Take care of Shey.” And we agreed. Of course. Of course. Your swollen body was wrecked from infection, your lungs ready to burst, filled with fluid. But all you wanted to know, needed to know was that Shey was going to be okay.
And she is. Cuz of Annie, her “mom” who stepped in and continued raising her with a fierce devotion and commitment. And hopefully, a wee bit, cuz of me. I gave her shelter. I understood anxiety and grief.
What runs the deepest in her, though, I think, is what makes her like you. What you gave her. She always believed in love. She searched for it and gave it generously to her friends and family. She struggled with the pain and confusion of losing you but she never stopped believing in love. So when Kevin came into her life she was able to see clearly the future she wanted for her and Taelyn, for him and his boys, and now…for their next little Parshall girl on her way. So much love, Dee Dee.
Today, Sheyenne is getting married and I’m weeping over my morning tea. Mom is here. She’s sore and tired but she made it. And know what else? She’s giving Sheyenne the wedding of her dreams, what she couldn’t do for us, she’s doing for her grandchildren and that’s all from love.
Shey’s doing okay, Dee. She’s more than okay. And so I toast you, my dear funny sweet sister, so missed in the flesh but with us in spirit. All the old rock tunes and pop songs of the 70’s are gonna be played for you. I know you’ll be there standing at the altar with Grandma and Michael, I know your heart is filled with joy.
Here’s to you, Dee Dee. A Toast! to you.