Girls’ Weekend (plus Danny!)

Posted by Danny

It’s 10:17 on Saturday night. I am in a king sized bed in the master suite of a beautiful mountain house in  Montreat, NC. USC is beating Notre Dame 24 to 17, it’s the 4th quarter.  On the floor below me are four forty-year-old women.  Asleep.

Lisa’s best girlfriends from high school have an annual girls’ weekend to reconnect and recharge.  Two years ago, they were slated to travel to Boulder, the home of one of the Fab Five.  Lisa’s diagnosis prevented that trip from occurring.  Instead they quickly rearranged their schedules and kidnapped my wife a week or so after we found out she had cancer.  It was important that she had that time with these Steel Magnolias.  It would be her last.  

Each of these women spent time in Raleigh while Lisa was sick.  One is a Nurse Practitioner – she emailed and called throughout Lisa’s illness offering guidance on her medical issues.  Another drove from Charleston one week to give me a break when I just couldn’t push any harder.  Two still stay with me when they’re in Raleigh – cook a meal and coach me on life.

About a year ago, one of the Fab called, “Danny, you know the fall Girls’ Weekend is coming up.”

“Oh, is it that time again?  I imagine it’s going to be hard this year.”

“Yep…that’s why you’re going to join us.”

“I ain’t going to Girls’ Weekend!  There are a couple of things that preclude me from this group.”

“How about if you just come down for one night?”

“I can’t do that.  This is your time to reconnect – without the male influence.”

“Danny…”

This is the second year I’ve gone.  

I’ve been on some weekends with my guy friends, but until last year, “Girls’ Weekend” was a mystery.

I sort of had a picture of what might happen here. 

Late night gossiping with lots of wine; a bashing of the husbands; perhaps we’d give each other pedicures; I feared a male stripper might appear.

Boy was I off base.

Instead of gossiping, I found listening ears interested in how I was doing and in-depth advice about raising my girls. And these women know what they’re doing.  They’re the real deal when it comes to parenting.

 There was no bashing of husbands, but four women who are clearly in strong relationships who share mutual respect with their mates. Relationships I can relate to because I had the same.

I think they spa-ed the day before I got here – so we took a nice long hike with beautiful views instead of painting nails.

And unless he’s showing up at midnight, I’ve avoided the male dancer two years in a row.  Although they did try to get me to sing a song from A Christmas Carol to which I responded, “Buy a ticket!”

And at 9 pm, each one started nodding off – perhaps a sign of how hard they work throughout the rest of the year.  Or maybe they’re just getting old.

A friend recently asked how to support someone who has lost a spouse.  I’m not the one to ask; call Lisa’s friends.  Apparently they’ve taken the course.

Dinner Is Delivered!

Posted by Uncle Jesse

Throughout Lisa’s illness, after her passing, and now well into when we should probably be able to handle it ourselves, our AMAZING network of friends has given us all kinds of support. Nowhere has this been more tangibly evident than at the dinner table. Which is a darn good thing. I wouldn’t go so far as to say “we miss Lisa’s cooking” but with all the extra things that get added to Danny’s plate being a single parent, it has been a gi-mongous (mash-up of giant and humongous…I got bored of gi-normous) help to have one less chore to worry about on many nights.

Tonight’s meal was one of many provided by good family friend Heather T. It was Greek spaghetti pie: noodles, tomato sauce, oregano, feta cheese and black pepper (Michelle will think the pepper makes it look cool).

I did the bread and salad myself! (yeah, the bread was the cheap, garlic heat up kind–but it’s so good!) And the salad had onions and carrots that the girls will pick out but that will keep all of our doctor friends off of our backs (we will not be sharing what kinds of cereal we pump in the kids any more–lesson learned). I don’t really cook, but I heat up and slice things well enough, and I’m a darn good kitchen cleaner (which is important–Danny’s not a neat freak but I’ve definitely had to step my game up from the various other places I’ve lived).

OH–and to all you do-gooders out there who will read this and have a casserole at our door tomorrow, just stop. We’re fine, I promise (though it’s not like we’re going to turn you down at the drop-off). Grandparents alone cover us about half the time. Our kids are healthy and (mostly) happy eaters.

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