Robot grandparents… for a weekend

I knew taking care of a newborn baby is hard, but not this hard.

He said

I’d like to say this week was a return to normal but it just wasn’t as there still this huge crater in our universe that should be filled with Greg. There are all sorts of moments we’re all coming to terms with that remind us, as much as we don’t want it to be true, it is indeed, very true. The biggest one is in the last four or so months a lot of our communication while he was going through the most trying parts of his battle, we would send funny memes we’d find to each other on Instagram. I think it was solace for both us – some times up at strange hours responding with a one-up funny find. This week it was hard seeing his name come up in my recents, and knowing that will eventually slip away.

Getting back to work on Monday was a very good step. While work was amazing and offered whatever time I needed, the one piece I leaned on was that I knew Greg was very proud of where I worked and my journey at Apple and would want me back there doing the things I loved to do. That gave me all the more reason to get back at it and fulfill that sense of meaning I get that I knew he appreciated. One of the funniest things he used to do is any time there were new product announcements out, knowing full well that I would be aware of them as it is part of my job, he would send messages, asking if I heard about the new thing Apple launched. That always made me laugh.

One of the surprise pieces of good that came out of all of this has been all the friends reaching out and sharing what an amazing impact he had in their life and how much he meant to them too. Former band mates from all over. Friends. Mutual pals. And people I didn’t even really know all sharing thoughts and his meaning to them has been an immeasurable solace in all of this – if there was to be any. One friend, a former The Mammals bandmate and really good friend of Greg’s, Steve went so far a finding one of their old set lists and putting together a play list in Apple Music that he shared with me. I have been listening to that a lot this week and it has been such a huge comfort.

Now… as for Emelia, where Greg would want this Blog to go. Emelia had an especially busy week—just like pretty much every other one. It included cheer practices, wrestling, her job, school, friends, and even this weekend, caring for a robot baby for one of her year-end class projects which I am sure Danielle will share more about. But the one thing I want to talk about this week for her is just how it blows me away that she has taken on wrestling – a sport that I would never have guessed she’d have on her radar. She tried it a couple years ago and it was canceled because of Covid. Then last year she was worried about injuring herself and not being able to do Cheer so it dropped off. But, this year she is back with grit and determination and a hope to make OFFSA.

But, what blows me away is you have this kid who did competitive gymnastics for years, and then made the switch to competitive cheer. And while you may typecast her in a certain feminine light, here she is going out and doing these sports that don’t fit a mould because she interested in them an doesn’t give a damn if they’re seen as a more for one gender or another. Softball, rugby and now wrestling… I am just so damned proud of her for trying out for these sports, doing them and often whether or not her BFF group are doing the same. Wrestling especially is hard for her because of her height, she ends up getting put in weight categories above her sometimes one class up, but also it has been two classes. And, while she hasn’t been getting the results she wants, she just keeps going at it and giving her all. Sports that come easy and you have success, don’t build character and teach determination. But, what I see her doing in wrestling I know is forming the woman she is becoming. And, we’re both just so damned proud of her for doing!

She said

It has been 12 days since Greg passed and it still seems to be not real. It took me a good week before I could even read any posts people posted online without bursting into tears. John posted last week that beautiful letter to his brother and it captured everything we have been feeling. I had not been able to put into words where my heart and head were. I will try now before going into our week that was. Greg, you were my big brother, you were your family’s biggest champion and you will always be one of my heroes. From the day I walked into this family 35 years ago you treated me like your little sister, you were protective and loving. You made me feel like family from the very first day. When my mother died almost 30 years ago and my entire world and family fell apart you were there to build both John and I up. When I needed a big brother you stepped up in a way that will mean everything to me. You were the best man at our wedding and our daughter’s hero from the second she met you. Cancer took you from us and I know our family will never be the same again. I love you forever big brother!

Now as I wipe away the tears I will go back to our usual post which is a recap of our week. This week John and I both returned to a bit of normal and got back to work. My work has been so incredible, so supportive and for that I cannot thank them enough. It did feel good and surreal to be back to a bit of a routine. Work for me which has been so busy recently is starting to slow down a bit as we get closer to the end of the year. There are a ton of projects all wrapping up and then everyone is taking a solid almost 2 week break as the University closes for the holiday break. It will be great to have that break for everyone as it has been a very stressful few months for our division.

Emelia continues to keep us on our toes with sports and a very busy social life. This week was the usual cheer, work, hanging out with friends but she also added in a mini-wrestling meet. She did not win her match but her school won the the overall meet which she was very proud of. I was able to see her compete this week and she has come so far, this match was against an out of province competitive athelete and Emelia held her own, made it to the end without a submit and was only a point behind her competitor. She was a bit frustrated but proud that she held her own. I have to give the kid credit, wrestling has been frustrating this year, she has been put in a weight class that is above her weight and she has been in matches against girls at least 2 weight classes above her which means these girls outweigh her by 25 lbs. She comes out each match more determined than ever to grow and learn even if she is super pissed at first.

The other big event for Emelia was the big project she has been working on all weekend for her final exam credit for her Raising Healthy Children class. In lieu of a full final exam she is to do a big project that is worth a large percentage of her final grade. She has had to take care of what we refer to as her robot baby since Friday morning. This baby is to simulate what it is like to take care of a newborn for 4 days and nights. The doll which she has named Elizabeth has been keeping her on her toes, the baby cries, needs changing, feeding, burping and soothing. It has been waking her every few hours in the night and she needs to figure out what the baby needs. Once she spends the time with the baby she is to spend the next two weeks writing her full recap of the care of the baby, create a baby memory book and speak to what it is like to care for a newborn. She has been taking it like a champ but I can tell you now she is going to be happy in a few days to get a full night sleep.

The rest of my week was getting back on track for Christmas, with everything we have been dealing with as a family Christmas became a far back priority but as parents we are all determined to make this holes as positive for the kids as possible. It is going to be a hard year for our family but we want to spend as much time together as possible and shower all the kids with love and make as many positive memories as possible, that is exactly what Greg would have wanted!

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