It's been awhile since I wrote a birthday blog but I just have to write one for my good friend and neighbor, and Godmother to my son, Loretta. Or, rather, as Sam calls her, Retta. Loretta, if you're lucky enough to know her, is grace in action. Some of the things she's dealt with in life would send many to crash on a therapist's couch, or at the very least cloud their attitude about the world. Not Loretta. She gets up the next day and asks you how you'redoing. If people were colors Loretta would be the yellow in sunflowers and lemon meringue pie.
Retta is totally one of Sam's people. I have to carry Sam in my arms from the car or else he'll twist himself out of my grasp and charge Loretta's house yelling "Retta! Retta! Retta!" as he runs up her driveway, climbs her steps and starts tapping his little hands on her door.
From the moment she knew he was coming, Loretta has been nothing but loving and supportive of Sam, and us, his parents. We were good neighbors before that news but something about sharing that and the ups and downs that came with it brought us closer. Then, there was the devastating news about Loretta's wonderful husband, Ron's illness and as quickly as the news came, he was gone. He never did get to meet Sam but I'll never forget, near the end of his time with us, the way he told me that Loretta loved babies and to make sure we let her love this little one of ours. "She's great with them, you can learn a lot."
Little did he know how much we would come to lean on her love and support. Just this afternoon, for instance I got a call that I needed to be at the doctor's office in half an hour and thanks to Loretta, I made it. Not only did she watch Sam, she got him down for a nap and then vacuumed, cleaned my kitchen and hung up the coats Sam pulled out of the closet. All of them.
When Sam had his first pukefest, she's the one I called. She's made chicken noodle soup from scratch when we were sick, helped me figure out how to do an embarrassing amount of things around the house and made me laugh even when it hurt to do so. In the short time we've been friends and neighbors there've been hugs, there've been tears and there's been joy. We are so blessed to have her in our lives and are thankful she was born and moved in next door.
We love you, Retta!