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Rosie and I have been home for 3 weeks. It’s so nice to be home and doing normal things again. It’s easy to forget we actually lived in St Louis for 3 months. But then again sometimes we miss St Louis and the friends we had there as well as the places we went. I did enjoy living in St Louis. I was worried that I would not like it and I would hate being away from my home of 18 years. This is the only home Melanie and Rosie know. Adam remembers a little of the apartment we lived in for a year before moving here. But this is really where I raised my kids.

Being home and figuring out a new routine has also proved to be a little challenging. I ran everything in St Louis and my husband ran everything at home. I’m glad we were only apart for 3 months! I can’t imagine what it would be like to reintegrate after a year or more.

Living in the apartment in St Louis changed me a little. We had everything we needed in the apartment. When I came home I felt like we had too much stuff. So I have been getting rid of clutter and things that we don’t need or haven’t used in over a year. I can now walk in my walk-in closet and my kitchen counter tops have been resurfaced and cleared of clutter. I hope to tackle my laundry room next but I need to convince my husband to help me.

I’ve done some work in Melanie’s room transforming it into a craft room. I think that is the best way to use her room. She would have loved to have a craft room. I’m sure she has one of her own with all the supplies she could ever want. I still need to go through her things and box up what I want to keep and what we don’t need to keep. It’s hard to believe she has been gone 9 months. I’ve gone through different phases of how I think about her being gone. Right now I think about how 150+ years ago grown children would leave their home country to come to America knowing they would never see their family again. I wonder what those parents felt like. Then I think that at least I have the comfort of knowing that Melanie is ok. Nothing bad can or will happen to her. She is happier than I could ever imagine and although it seems like a life time will go by until I see her again heavens time zone if very different. It may only seem like a minute or day for her. I wonder what she feels about me now. Does she miss me? That would be a sad emotion and I can’t imagine anyone being sad in heaven. Maybe it’s more like happy memories of me and our family and looking forward to showing us around when we get there. I’m sure she will have so much to say. She would talk so quickly when she was excited about something. I hope I’ll be able to keep up with her!

Watching Rosie live her life with her new lungs has been amazing. There is so much that she can do now and she is so thankful for the choice her donor made to give her this second chance at life. She wrote a letter to the donor family this week and included her picture. She is really hoping to meet them and worried they won’t respond to her letter. She has been going to rehearsals for Shrek and taking voice lessons. She will have her singing re-debut November 15, one day after her 4th month anniversary. Then straight into tech week and the opening of Shrek on November 21. It is unbelievable to see her rehearse. She doesn’t have to sit and take a break. She can get through the entire rehearsal just like the rest of the cast. She had a welcome home Halloween party and danced and played games with her friends. She had her first sleep over that night as well. I am so thankful for the group of friends she has. They genuinely love each other and are such a good supportive group. I couldn’t ask for anyone better. Rosie has also been walking the dogs and training Prudence how to speak on command in the hopes that she will be in the next production at The Biz. They are planning on doing Legally Blonde the Musical and if you are not familiar with it there is a chihuahua named Bruiser in the show. Prudence is catching on pretty quickly and I think Rosie will have her ready to go in time for the show.

Adam is doing well now too. He has a good job and is making plans to move out on his own by the spring. I can say that I am truly happy for him. I am very blessed to call him my son. He stayed at home to be close to the family while we went through all the major medical stuff the last year and a half. While it didn’t all go the way we had hoped it would he was here through it all. And now that Rosie is back and doing well he is ready to move on to the next season of life and that’s a good thing. I’m proud of the man he has become. I’m happy to see him take this next step and though it will be different not having him home he won’t be far away.

I am happy to be back stage managing. I really missed all my theater family. I have caught up quickly and have been told many times that it is good to have me back. I am very glad to be back and cannot wait to do many more shows with them. Rosie and I are also looking forward to going to Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta in January. With the help of my mother in law Rosie and I are making a mask for every show she has been in for her to wear while we are at the festival. She has to wear a mask so we might as well make it fun!

All in all life is good right now and I am enjoying this season of life. I don’t take anything for granted. I stop and watch every new thing Rosie does and yes most of the time I cry. I’m so thankful for what she is able to do now. I will never be able to express my appreciation to her donor but I can be thankful for every moment he or she has given to my daughter. Never take life for granted and enjoy your loved ones while they are here with you.

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