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Grands ’15

So, I never thought I’d need so many pages on my WP site to talk to you, but alas, here we are. It’s nice to have at least a little spot in the world to tell you nice things and remind you we are here, and we love you; a spot that feels safe because it’s mine. πŸ™‚ I’m going to try to open a new WP site where I can have sub menus and not list EVERY year across the top of the page. The best option, of course, would be for you to just close the door on me needing this site by reaching out and visiting. See there? It’s not really that hard. Here’s a video for you to consider. I like this guy. A lot. I think you’ll find yourselves in there my dear Anthonee, Erin, and Triston. Tell me what you think?Β


14 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2015 10:47 am

    Happy February Ant, Erin, and Triston. As we are closing out this month we are looking forward to some nicer weather. Winter in Florida is never harsh, but it can be crummy. Today is chilly and rainy – and especially so because I am doing long runs early on Saturdays to prep for the GRR! We always tried to get you there.

    February has been a roller coaster as we were confronted with your Great Grandpa’s health emergencies. He’s doing fine right now, but he is not getting younger. You are letting your opportunities to reconnect slip away. Shame on you. Grampa and I are working on helping them move closer to us. You could be have double the fun when you visit – but you need to make that move.

    Erin, with you having your own child, we know how the love washes over you when you hold her, look into her eyes, and kiss her little forehead. That’s what it feels like to be a parent. Imagine if she was taken away from you and how your heart would ache. Your Dad has that ache. You watch your Mom gush over a grand daughter. The love for a grandchild floods your whole being like nothings else. You see it. We have that. We grieve for our loss of each of you. Only you can return it, and we wait for it to happen.

    Our other news is that Grampa now has a pet rabbit! He found it huddled in the median on the way to work. He brought it home and no one is claiming her, so he bought everything a little bunny requires, and gave her a name. Lucky Lucy Lionheart. Lucy for short. She is litterbox trained, and playful! We are having fun with her. She’s white with cinnamon “freckles”, and a tuft of long fur between her ears. SO much fun to have around. Grampa is getting her used to him, and he is teaching her tricks. You should see them!! Just in time for Easter too. Door is open. We look forward to seeing you. Love Grammie!!

  2. March 15, 2015 5:49 pm

    It’s finally feeling like springtime with a little bit of summer here and there as well! This gets our ideas flowing for what we want to do outside. How about you? Easter is right around the corner. This was the holiday I always got you thinking about summer with our swimming gifts to you. One of my favorite photographs of the all three of you is when you are all laughing and wearing the swim goggles we put in your Easter gift bags! We are now giving them to ourselves – you are missing out! This year we are getting some new pool floats. Love me some floating time.

    We just did the Gate River Run yesterday! It was so much fun to be there with your Dad, K. and her sister, Steph and Sierra. We all ran and had a great time. It was a beautiful day, but a bit hot for running almost 10 miles. We all made it, and after a day of complaining about aches and pains, I’m sure we’ll all be ready to hit the road again. You missed that and the little picnic Grampa always puts together for us.

    Today was the first day for F1 races to start too. We are watching the first one in about half an hour from now. I’m making home made guacamole to munch on. Maybe some fish tacos. We’ll see if we’re hungry enough for that.

    This past week was so much fun. I worked in Orlando, and since your cousin Kourtney lives there, we decided to do a quick Disney day. We both love it, so it was a no brainer. I picked up her and her friend, and off we went to Downtown Disney. We had dinner at Rainforest Cafe, then strolled in and out of our favorite stores before sitting through a dance contest on the main stage. Okay, we didn’t sit very long. We danced! Then we headed over to Pleasure Island to listen to all the live guitar playing. It was extraordinary. Kourtney is so much fun to be with. You’d love her! I know you miss going with us to Disney. We are going to take Amanda and her child there next. See Erin Sunshine, if you would just stay connected to your family, we could be having the most amazing adventures.

    We still have all the same adventures (and more!), but we are spending them with everyone other than you. So sad. It only takes a moment to reach out and reconnect. Hoping your spring break is energizing! Everyone is heading to the beach – the best time of the year to do so.

    With this spring, Erin, you should be graduating from high school. Where will you go to college? What do you want to do with your life? How will you be productive, successful, independent? You are so smart, and there are so many wonderful things in front of you. Anthonee, you should be heading into your sophomore year and looking at what you want to do for you major? Have you decided? Are you working while in school? Saving for cars, apartments, houses, and trips? Kourtney is an honor roll student and looking at something science related right now. I think she will do a great job! Triston, are you hitting that honor roll too? We know you have it in you to do so. Good luck to each of you! School is your most important job right now. Do well and you lay the foundation for everything to go smoothly. Love, Grammie.

  3. April 20, 2015 11:10 pm

    Anthonee (aka Ant Alan) Gray, Erin Sunshine, Triston Andrew. You need to know your Great Grandmother Gray is in hospice. Another life moment you should be paying attention to. There are no second chances.

    We love you. You should be here.

  4. April 22, 2015 8:48 pm

    Happy Birthday Erin Sunshine. Here you are 18 years old and with so many life events swirling around you so we hear! Prom, graduation, new baby (?!), possible wedding? new home, so many life changes. How are you?! Are you joyful, enthusiastic, playful, responsible, kind, loving, busy? We wish all of this for you. But with all of this, I challenge you to look into your child’s eyes and remember your love for your Dad. It’s there. You know it is. You have been living a lie and are now old enough to reassess, draw up your courage, and recover your family. You owe it to your child who has a grandfather, great grandparents, and great-great grandparents with love to share. Are you then also courageous, honorable, and one who acts with integrity? When your Dad holds his grandchild you will have accomplished these important things. Happy Birthday Granddaughter. This is the first day of your majority. Make it count. Love, Grammie. πŸ™‚

  5. April 27, 2015 9:11 pm

    Ant Alan, Erin Sunshine, and dear Triston; I know no other way to talk to you tonight to let you know your Great Grandma Gray is in hospice and they’ve called in a priest to administer last rites. We’ve spent the weekend with her sharing memories and photographs of our best of times. You were in those. But you were not there with the rest of your family. You will soon lose your great grandmother without even a moment to say goodbye. I am sad for you. You shroud yourselves in false stories that prevent you from sharing the love of a good family; from saying good bye to a dear family member. I am sorry for your loss – a loss that has nothing to do with the passing of this loved one, your great grandmother, a relation the privilege you are not honoring due to false pride. This loss only serves to highlight what you need to do. We are here. We await your courage to return. Your great grandmother has held each of us in her eyes, arms, and heart in these last days. We will mourn her passing. We still mourn your absence.

  6. June 1, 2015 9:33 pm

    So May came and went because it’s been a huge emotional roller-coaster. Great Grandma Gray passed away on May 8th surrounded by so many of her loved ones. I am sorry you did not have the opportunity to say good-bye. She was 91 and had a very full life. She’s in a good place. Are you? In our lives we are doing well. Work is good, our free time is very nice, and things are moving in a good direction for all of us. More on that next time. Sure hope your summer is promising. We have cool things in front of us. πŸ™‚ Love you.

  7. June 21, 2015 12:30 pm

    Dear Grands – Happy Fathers Day. Yep – Happy Fathers Day in celebration of your Dad. He is one of the most amazing, resilient, caring, and interesting people in our lives! You know this, even though you’ve tried to cover it up. We get it. So, today we quietly celebrate him, Grampa, and Great Grandpa for you because you will never have a better trio as role models and just plain good people to surround you. Hopefully, you have time to revisit these relationships – life is short. You are losing fun moments each day you remain stubborn. We have watched our great niece return to her Dad and Grandparents with her children, and experience the most wonderful re-connection. This gives me hope you will come to your senses too. So, Happy Fathers Day. Your family awaits.

    And, of course there were the adventures of yesterday! Think back to your first Disney visits and how magical they were. Yesterday Amanda went with me to Disney for her and her children’s first visit. Guess what, Mickey talks to the kids now! DJ had his Mickey Mouse moment of dancing and playing with Mickey, and had stars in his eyes. We did all the best things – took the Buzz Lightyear ride and shot laser guns at all the colorful targets; we floated through It’s a Small World and sang along; sat with Walt for pictures of Cinderella’s Castle in the background where DJ poked statue Minnie’s eyeballs; ate corn dogs and fries at Casey’s on Main Street and watched a parade; ooh’d and ah’d during the most amazing fireworks display ever; and rode the ferry and monorail back to our car at midnight with tired but happy smiles on our faces.

    It was such a nice day! We are definitely returning – in the winter when it’s cooler. We still get annual passes and go as often as we like, although we only get 2 now. You have your Disney memories, and I’ll bet whenever a Disney movie comes on and you see Cinderella’s Castle and the fireworks over it, you secretly smile because we did have many years of good fun going to Disney together, didn’t we?

    Well, Happy Fathers Day again Anthonee, Erin, and Triston. You have the best Dad, Grampa, and Great Grandpa ever! You should take advantage of that fact. πŸ˜‰ Love, Grammie

  8. July 16, 2015 8:23 pm

    Happy Summer Grands! Ours is an adventurous one to say the least. Today when I asked Grampa what makes him happy today, he told me being at home and off oxygen. Odd? Of course, because you didn’t know he spent more than a week in hospital with pneumonia. Unfortunately, that is how we ended our WA vacation. We started out lovely! Attending the EA-6B Sunset ceremonies with lots of friends, and then spending time in all of our favorite places in and around Bellingham and Whidbey Island. It turns out there is no one with more time in service on this aircraft than Grampa, and he’s very proud of that. I am too. πŸ™‚

    On our way to hike Mt. Baker on Grampa’s birthday we drove within in blocks of where we think you are now…wondered if we’d run into you working around the area Anthonee – if you’re working around there; on outings with the baby Erin – we used to take you to Boulevard Park and wonder if you now do the same; watching kids swim, skateboard, and play sports Triston. You never know. We may have been in the same places. We hit all your Dad’s and Uncle Cory’s favorite spots that you may know, but not with them — too bad. They were the coolest teenagers in town. Of course, in retrospect – this was probably the first day Grampa was full blown sick…but he wanted to hike in the mountains. Oh, how we love the mountains.

    Grampa is back to work and feels great. My heart aches much less now. I hate to see him down for any reason. I love him more than anything. He makes my life complete. He has filled the holes in my heart that you left. He did it with love, kindness, and patience. He is most wonderful. I hope you each have someone in your lives as wonderful. You came close. πŸ™‚

    Uncle Cory is moving back to our area and we are all very excited. Especially your cousin Kourtney. I’m so happy they are reconnected. It’s sweet as can be! You should take a hint.

    Well, it’s time to get little Lucy to bed. She is waiting next to me for her nightly strawberry and cilantro. Grampa spoiles her so much. She couldn’t be cuter though. And she loves him. Come see her. She’s adorable!

    Happy summer!! I have a little time left to jump in the pool before bed, so that is what I will do next. Love, Grammie!

  9. August 16, 2015 9:45 pm

    So, Anthonee, Erin Sunshine, and Triston; it’s your Dad’s birthday month. In fact, just a few days within his date of birth. As his Mom and Dad, we shamelessly offer our admiration of his best qualities, and there are so many. Your Dad is intelligent, witty, completely loyal and loving, artistic, talented, and kind. All of those. And in all these years since you’ve gone from our lives I’ve tried to make sense of it. In the beginning I apparently understood but had no way to put it into words. Luckily, through all the pain and suffering we’ve All been through, a beacon of understanding has been divulged once we stumbled across an expert confronting the exact situation we are All in – where you, the children are compelled to designate your Dad as an ex-parent because of divorce and the pathology involved. You can read Dr. Childress’ work here:

    It’s difficult to confront, but not difficult to comprehend if you take the time to read, and the reread if that’s what it takes. I will tell you that once I learned that all this craziness is recognized and can be defined, I was relieved!! Your Dad is a good person, and there is an explanation for all the horrific damage that was done to all of you.

    I hope you find your way to these explanations, and then take the courageous steps to reconnects with first your Dad and then to us. We are always here, and I long for that day. We track the milestones in your lives, but we do not take the first step in reaching out to you out of protection of your Dad’s heart and life.

    In the meantime, let me remind you to look into your hearts to remind yourselves of your Dad’s kindness, humor, love, and compassion. You know you can see it because it’s clear as day! Happy Birthday to Your Dad!!! See how easy it is?! Love, Grammie!

  10. October 7, 2015 11:03 pm

    Well September just whizzed by this year. Just because I haven’t written, doesn’t mean I don’t remember. Triston, you should be back in school. Sports too maybe? Wondering if you kept up with your soccer interests. You always were very full of muscle memory making you good at sports. I still remember our golf range and putting green dates. You were so determined to hit that golf cart retrieving the golf balls! And pretty dang good at it too. A friend and I are going to hit the driving range now. Anthonee, it looks like you have a sweet girlfriend. Did you really move to KY? Job? School? Friends? We wish you luck and success in all you do. Erin, did you go ahead and get married? We see you have a child. Sweet looking one too. I wonder if holding him makes you think twice about the rest of us. Can you imagine losing him the way your Dad lost you? Oh heavens no. Perhaps you will all realize one day that life is short. You are losing your loved ones one at a time. It will be too late before you know it. Be well my Grands! Love, Grammie.

  11. October 27, 2015 9:14 pm

    My Dear Grands! We are back from our whirlwind trip to the races and are so, so happy to be back to our own beds, home, and kitchen. πŸ˜‰ We stopped to see some of your cousins once removed and enjoyed catching up on their boyfriends, girlfriends, school, and fun times. They are so cool! You’d love them. Of course Devin is off doing grown up things like you Anthonee and Erin. Sierra is cute as a bug and completely taken by her beau. Dakota is full of ever changing new schemes for his life, and who knows where that will end up.Their Mom, Stacie was there too, and always good to see her too. It was so wonderful to hug and smile with Aunt Stephanie again. We never do so enough. You are missing out on so many good times and family who love you. We miss Great Grandma Gray of course, but we all did have a good send off for her this year. Next up is our Halloween weekend and then T-Day! Hope yours is nice. Pictures would be a welcome surprise, but I won’t linger over that hope. Instead I’ll continue to day dream about our would be moments and recall our wonderful ones too. Love Grammie.

  12. November 24, 2015 6:57 am

    Dear Grands,
    It’s almost Thanksgiving and I wonder where each of you will be for dinner. πŸ™‚ Anthonee, if you are living in KY, are you meeting up with friends, or family? Erin, with a near toddler of your own, are you hosting or visiting for dinner? Triston, you must be hoping your siblings are all coming home for dinner to catch up. I loved when you would all spend the night before Thanksgiving at our house to help cook, set up and decorate tables. Then Erin would set the table and spend tons of time deciding who would sit where. Wednesday has always been the best part of the holiday. We always will cherish those dinners we had together and wish for you a Happy Thanksgiving. We will have Uncle Cory and Soner over. Their loves are elsewhere with work. Your Dad will be visiting Krysta’s family as is their Thanksgiving tradition.
    This year brings us so many things to be thankful for. We are happy and enjoying life with your Dad and Uncle Cory close by, we love their loves! Our jobs have done us much good and we are pleased with what we do. We are excited to have Great Grandma and Great Grandpa moving to the neighborhood. We are enjoying a renewed relationship with your cousin Kourtney, and having the best time sharing all the triumphs and trials of all of your cousins near and far. We’ve had some great adventures this year and look forward to the ones we have planned next year.
    The weather is so pleasant right now. We are looking forward to a holiday weekend that begins with our feast of course. Then we will spend Saturday in St. Augustine to browse down George Street. Remember when this was your Christmas shopping date with me? I’d give you each a budget and let you choose your gifts for each other. I still get lots of shopping done this day of the year. And this year we are going to the beach too. Then on Sunday we are shopping in Orlando: Ikea, Macy’s, and Downtown Disney (I guess it’s now called Disney Springs). We’re staying over in our condo so we can watch the fireworks and ride Space Mountain! It’s my favorite weekend of the year!
    I know in your hearts you’ll secretly think of us and remember some of these as your memories. When you draw up enough courage to bridge the gap, our doors are open. We still wonder when you’ll be strong enough to come back. πŸ™‚ In the meantime we’ll keep making new memories! Love, Grammie

  13. November 24, 2015 7:01 am

    One more month and it wlll be time for a new page. I am going to work on setting up a new site that allows me to stack the pages better. I’ll move everything over once I figure it out.

  14. December 30, 2015 10:52 pm

    Well my dear Anthonee, Erin, and Triston. We are closing out the year with another one way conversation, but trust that you feel this in your hearts and know that you are always in ours. Do your ears ring when we talk about you? We do. We squeeze the one or two little tidbits we learn of your lives and build complete versions of you around them. We count your birthdays and share what we think you’re doing and saying, learning and living. We imagine what your thoughts are about us and have faith they are stripped of the vitriol you hear around you. We trust that in your hearts, when you close your eyes, you still see the laughter, love, and hugs we all shared; that you still feel the true love that was shrouded and cloaked in the madness and hysteria that seemed to build up and prevent our good moments from turning into a lifetime. I’d say it’s okay, but it’s not. You’ve missed so much – and we are all still here building wonderful memories and having great moments that could be yours to share as well. I hope you are too. And I count on you holding us in your hearts as we do you.

    Happiest of New Years to each of you. I’ll watch for you. Maybe this is the year you have the courage to return. πŸ™‚ Now I’m off to figure out how to start a new blog to fill with my love letters to you. Perhaps someday you’ll stumble across them and feel joy.

    Anthonee – we do wish you a Happy Birthday and hope you are growing into your adult life with valor and kindness. I hope it’s filled with excitement and balanced with satisfaction of a job well done at the end of each day. That’s what success is built on. I know you have it in you. You do have the right stuff. Your Dad is an amazing man and there’s something of him in you. You’ll find it. It’s the goodness and wisdom, along with the humor and kindness. Happy Birthday. Love Grammie.

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