The Planet Earth series narrated by Sigourney Weaver features a segment on the Emperor Penguins in Antarctica. The extreme habitat in which these animals survive is undeniably the harshest cold on the planet. The daily adversity they face is a fierce testament of survival. Once a female lays an egg, the male incubates it while she forages up to 300 miles from the colony for food to feed their chicks. Males forage this obscene amount of distance as well after the chick is born, and what is so interesting to me is these mates always find their way back. Back to each other and their chicks. That is if they avoid predators, one among many other fatal elements. I'm not trying out for the Discovery Channel I promise. This Planet Earth series was one of the few things Jeremiah and I agreed to enjoy together on TV. Lucky for him I'm not much of a TV person, so he usually dominated the tube with these three main connections to the outside world....HUNTING, FISHING, AND ESPN. OK, OK to the point. These memories and connections are what get me through my days. This is one of many things I associate and think about when I sit and wonder why this happened to me and my Miah Jane. In my wacky widow mind Jeremiah and I are like the penguins. I know, I know I'm a weirdo, but losing your husband at thirty-two years old while pregnant with your first child will do that to you. Some of you can attest that I was a little weird in the first place, but again accepting my oddities helps me. He and I are penguins. We are apart, struggling against adversity, but we will find our way back. In a world where there is so much speculation about what is beyond the here and now, maybe the lives of these penguins is one of many clues God has given us to help connect and believe.
I thank Him everyday for my little chick.......
(The quilt seen in this picture below was Jeremiah's handmade by his mother Donna. An absolute treasure and favorite "Jeremiah" belonging of mine. The first night I went to his house to watch a movie when we were dating he covered me with this. It has given me so much comfort "before and after" I love you Mom in Mexico.)
We did Christmas morning a little different than normal. Miah still takes a morning nap, so while she napped Gma and Gpa came over for breakfast. Gma, Gpa, Auntie Tanya, Uncle Jordi, and my Baba all chipped in with me on a kitchen set, produce market, grocery cart, and a few fun accessories for Miah Jane to wake up to that morning.
(Thank you, thank you Emily Alessandri for your part in all of this!)
There was a little snag with the refrigerator, but as you will soon see it didn't make one bit of difference.
Somebody is awake!
I don't know, I couldn't tell if she liked the grocery cart could any of you?
Gpa showing MJ there is more to this collaboration than just the grocery cart.
And to really dress the part Gpa bought Miah Jane her very own mini apron!! I'm so proud of my Dad this year!! He sought and purchased this all by himself!! NO HELP FROM GMA!! In fact he got Gma an apron to match!! Bravo Dad!! You are getting the hang of being a grandpa!!
Poor Uncle Jordi.....the need for putting something together never seems to end. He accepts his substituted role with so much love. Grateful, thankful, blessed.....just a few trivial words that come to mind that will never describe what my heart feels for him and my sister.
I knew Miah would be excited once she saw all of these things, but I kept in mind she was only 15 months old and may not quite get the grasp of some of this. WOW was I wrong!! I was truly taken aback by how happy she was to receive her gifts. Lord knows what she does when it really all comes together with Santa and his reindeer!!
MJ has countless friends and family that love her and sent gifts to her. You would think a child her age wouldn't give much attention to a sweater. BUT she kept with the spirit of the morning and played peek-a-boo with this gorgeous garment sent with love from the Halunen family in Cape Cod.
My beloved friend Lo sadly knows what it is to be a widow at a young age. She understands the importance of "LOVE" and has since found it once again. Love looks good on this kid, especially with this matching silver clutch!! Thank you LoLo!!
It was a beautiful morning that fed my heart and soul. Just like those resilient penguins, I've trekked a trail of adversity for my little chick, and I will continue forward to one day when it is my time become complete again.