Heather lives it up with Grandpa Deon and Grandma Helen
Many years ago, when I had been working at the festival (which is what my employer wants us to start calling the opera company now--since our official name is Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, and calling it "the opera company" is intimidating to some people and they think they can't come see our shows because they don't like opera, which is silly because opera is kind of fun, and musicals, which we do every year are exceptionally fun) for only a few years, I met Deon and Helen.
At that time, I had no idea what a blessing that would turn out to be.
They both started working at the
Anyway, to make a long story full of details that are now hazy in my mind short, Deon and Helen and I became fast friends, and I started relying on them like a kind of local set of parents. They would both check in with me when we were in the office, and I would call them when I needed advice about plumbers, garbage disposals, and dentists. I still remember on that fateful September 11, my mom and I had driven to Denver to visit family, and when everything fell apart, Deon was very concerned that we were stranded somewhere (thinking that we had flown rather than driven). He asked around the office and eventually called me on my cell phone to make sure we were all right. That meant the world to me.
Those kinds of actions were pretty typical. I have been able to count on Deon and Helen since almost the first day I met them. It was Deon that I took with me to check out the townhome that we live in now (Eric and I weren't even dating yet back then). I still remember what he told me. "For the money, I don't know that you're going to find something that is a 'dolled up' as this one is." ('dolled up' referring to crown molding, laminate/tile floors, and nicer-than-average light fixtures.) It was Helen that I had on my most exclusive babysitting list. Perhaps that needs a bit of explanation.
Right after Heather was born, I started a list. Anytime anyone said, "If you ever need someone to watch that girl, you can call me", I put them on the list. It gave me a nice secure feeling to look at that list as I felt my old familiar pre-planned and perfectly within my control life slipping away. (Except, who am I kidding? Slipped away? That life was yanked away as soon as that little girl was born. (and I wouldn't have it any other way.)) Helen was/still is on that list.
However, there was another list. It was the "if I can't get any sleep and I'm panicking because I know I can't face another day feeling this tired and this out of control and I'm right at the edge of my sanity, then I know I can call these people and they will pretty much drop anything to help me out and take Heather so that I can get a nap." That list was naturally much shorter, because you really don't want everyone in the world to see you at your absolute scraping the bottom of the barrel of sanity low. It was very very short actually. But, Helen was on it.
These are just a few of the blessings have come into my life from this friendship. I could go on and on about conversations, and babysitting, and phone calls, and visits, and the moose on their wall and how Heather calls their house "the moose house" because of it, and more and more and more. But really, it all boils down to love. A whole lot of love that came my way at a time when I wasn't at all expecting it. A whole lot of love that I've had since then. A whole lot of love that I treasure more than I can say.