Sunday, August 29, 2010

Can I Find a Way to Write This?

I'm going to back post this date because I'd like the posting to be historically accurate.
I am sorry to announce that my Mom passed away early this morning...about 2:55am on Sunday 8/29/10.

Kurt, Kelsey and I went camping this weekend with our China Travel Group. We were having a great time in the was incredible, beautiful 100 foot tall pines, cool nights and mornings and hot afternoons...we had only gone for the weekend...

The kids were having a fabulous time, running from tent to tent...the adults had the best time as was fun catching up with everyone.

I was telling some of the people in our group how sick Mom was and on Friday Janet called me to say that the hospital let her know it would be "soon" but not this weekend. She asked specifically because she knew we were camping and Jimmy had planned to visit next weekend...but the hospital was pretty positive that it wouldn't happen this weekend.

Still I had planned to see her on Friday before we left, but we left late and I rationalized that we could stop on Sunday on the way home. In hindsight I alternately beat myself up over not seeing her that last time and then I say "well when i saw her she spoke a few words to me and called me by my name" which she hadn't done in a few months.. I don't know if I could have stood seeing her so close to the end...

Sat night/Sunday morning I slept fitfully (as I usually do when I am not in my own bed) plus we were in a tent and Kicky Mc Kickenstein (aka Kelsey) was tossing and turning in our little tent. I did dream that one of the members of our travel group knocked on our tent and told me Mom had died...and that I had cried because I didn't get to see her...and then I stopped dreaming this.

About 7am, Kurt woke up and said he was going for coffee (we were "tent camping" not wildnerness camping, btw) and when he came back he asked me if I left my phone in the car...whcih I had...he said my phone was beeping and he looked and the call was from Janet...

Of course I knew at minute he asked me about the phone that my Mom must have I called at 7:30 and my sister cried as she told me. For weeks I had tried to think how that moment would feel...grief or relief? what would my first emotion be? I was a little scared to think that it would be relief...even though the last year was so freakin' bad for everyone.

I am grateful that my first emotion was grief...I sobbed quietly (because my daughter was sleeping inches from me) and then I pulled it together and asked her some specifics...and made sure she was okay (I'm the big sister, that's my job) and I apologized for not being there for her because she went to the hospital to see Mom after she passed.

Kelsey woke a few minutes later and I told her Mema went to heaven...this was a pretty abstract concept for her, so she hugged me and then went to play with her friends...I was glad that she was distracted so I could pull myself together...

We were about 2 hours from my sister's so we packed our campsite fairly quickly, told the families what happened and left to go to her house...we had some decisions to make and the dreadful calls to handle...

So Mom died on 8/29, we waked her on 8/31 and interred her next to our Dad on 9/1, which was my 50th birthday...for the first time in my whole life my Mom wasn't there to wish me happy hurt....

Mom, I hope you are happily reunited with Daddy and Nanny (my Grandmother) in Heaven...this brings me a little comfort...but three weeks later (as I am really writing this) I cannot bring myself to go to Church....

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Blog Hopper - could there BE a better title for a Hoppe?

Hi Fellow Blog Lovers!
Welcome to The Secret Recipe for a Hoppe Family! I'm JoAnn, Wife, Mom, Non Profit Manager (no, I won't ask you for a donation - today :) and a lover and reader of blogs.

I saw this post on Pensieve Robin's and thought it looked like fun, so I decided to play along.

A bit about me...while I am a working Mom, I am very home centric and am deeply in love with creating a lovely and welcoming home. I love to spend time with friends (mine or my daughter's) and family and enjoy a good party! I also love gardening, cooking and baking.

I came to be a Mom a bit late in the party of life - through adoption (my daughter is from China and we adopted her at 9 months old). She is 5 now and the light of our lives. My DH (aka The Trophy Husband) and I have been married over 13 years now. Life is definately interesting with the cast of characters I've surrounded myself with and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

I invite you to delve into my archives and learn a bit more about me and my family...I love comments that are thoughtful and respectful and I always try hard to be hospitable! Enjoy your stay @ Casa de Hoppe :)

China Memories...

Recently some memories of our travel in China came flooding back and I thought I'd create a series of posts about our experiences/travels so that Kelsey can enjoy them as she grows up.

While we were in ChangSha, we had two guides, Helen, who traveled with us throughout the country, and Leung, who was strictly in ChangSha. Leung is a young, handsome and very sweet man and Kelsey was immediately taken with fact our baby girl flirted shamelessly with him and he with her!

But my memory today is about his voice...Leung loved to sing while we traveled throughout the city/country. We were in ChangSha about 7 days - which was too long for a city that isn't particularly touristy. And it was end March-early April...still a bit cold in ChangSha. I know I longed to go onto Guangzhou and experience that warm tropical air that awaited us and then finally get home and begin our lives as a family, but it was also really cool to be completely and totally out of touch with everything/everyone familiar. But I was a bit homesick and I think others were as well.

I'll never forget Leung singing John Denver's "Take me Home Country Roads" I cannot sing that song even 4 years later without choking up because I remember how powerful his voice was and the feeling of homesickness that overtook I longed to be home and start our lives in NJ as a family! Singing that song with my daughter nestled either in her carried on her Daddy's chest or in my arms is such a sweet memory.

Kelsey probably didn't get a chance to sleep much in the orphanage. As a result, she slept a great deal (I presume longer than a 9 month old would normally) in her carrier, stroller, in the bus...she always took the opportunity to have a long nap...and was a pretty good sleeper for us overnight as well. I'm thankful that she either trusted us enough to fall asleep with us looking out for her.