The women of 655 emporia rd.

When Carrie was little if you asked her where she lived she would exclaim sixty the five emporia road. It seems like just a couple of episodes of the Bachelor ago that she was a baby. Now she is days away from her first child's first birthday. Yes, the baby of the family with a baby. When she first got pregnant sara, mom and I would often wonder what it would be like to see her as a mother. We just couldn't get our heads around it.

which... brings me to this post. These past months have been chaotic, tragic, exciting and heart wrenching for the Lewis girls. Everyone is dealing with change, upheaval, sorrow and stress. Carrie is living in a house with no kitchen and will be for at least 2 more months. They don't have a working washer and dryer and they are in the midst of massive remodel. Each time she needs something from the fridge she climbs over the "child gate" and walks down stairs to climb over the metal pole that is jimmied to secure the back door which doesn't have a lock only to go down more stairs. Most of her possessions are packed and stowed away in the basement as they paint, peel wallpaper, clean, sand, etc. and live through renovations. She has setup a room for my mom to sleep in so that she can be near dad while undergoing his "chemo torture". She drives to massage dad at least every other day and throws baby showers and takes dinner to friends with newborns. Oh and did I mention she has a full time job?

It is delightful to watch her as a mother. Every time she sees Brig she acts like it has been a couple of weeks since they were together. She is seriously in love with this little boy and I have to say, he has stolen all of our hearts. i still remember when he was a newborn and she would say "I just can't believe I get to take him home with me". The other night when she went to meet Dave at the ER in Louisville because he had mistaken his leg for a tree branch while trimming with a power saw, she said "will you lock the door behind me. and don't let anyone steal brig". i'm glad she mentioned that because both mom and I wouldn't have thought to lock the door or stop someone from walking in and making off with Brig.

so motherhood has come quite naturally to Carrie but she also had the benefit of learning and watching my sister sara. When I look at sara's children it is absolutely clear that she was on the honor roll in heaven. Sara has been sent very special spirits. Scout's absolute faith and obedience and Calder's raw honesty and desire to "walk the line" Crosby's exuberance and sheer joy are tangible testimony of God's trust in sara. She is patient and tireless as she provides opportunities for her children to experience everything. One of the leading factors for Travis and Sara to move to Edgemont was because of the school.

During the summer while visiting Colorado Sara takes her kids to do something fun everyday. Each night Calder and Scout will say "what are we going to do tomorrow mom?" She is so well read and dedicated to providing her children with good nutrition and health. She rarely gives them fast food and Scout would choose a tomato sandwich, cucumbers and yellow waxed beans grown in grampa's garden over Kraft macaroni and cheese any day. At the park when all the other mom's are sitting around chatting, Sara is the one playing with all the kids. She is definitely "the fun mom".

Her ability to access information on the internet is uncanny. She linked her sudden bout of excessive sweating to an absence of iodized salt [this was after several visits to the doctor]. She eliminated her sudden migraines and dizziness through a change in pillow. She knows what lip balms have petroleum, what additives in foods are harmful and her children are never without sunscreen or seat belts.

Which brings me to the matriarch of "sixty the five emporia road", my mom or nana.

Mom was definitely ahead of her time when it came to motherhood. We were the only kids who always had to wear seat belts, bike helmets and sunscreen. We always had homemade bread made with wheat procured from the basement wheat grinder. Ironically, I used to think we were poorer than the kids who had wonderbread. We weren't allowed to have lunch meat with "nitrates" and cold cereal for breakfast was a definite no go.

She always made a point of getting to know our friends and their parents and she never missed a school presentation, choir concert, track meet, basketball/volleyball/soccer game, court of honor, tennis match, or recital [to name just a few]. I never remember my mother being sick in bed. Her motto was "if you're sick you just work threw it".

She always encouraged us to have parties and bring our friends over. Things got a bit out of hand when 1/2 of Carrie's senior class was eating lunch everyday at 655 emporia. But mom didn't mind. We were always encouraged to invite everyone to a party as she was determined that no none feel left out.

No matter how scared, saddened or stressed she is about Dad's condition, she goes to the hospital each day upbeat with a smile and happy. Just the other night at the dinner table she was eating beans from his garden [a delicacy he couldn't indulge in due to mouth sores] and she gleefully exclaimed "these are soooo good. I can just eat them plain they have such a wonderful flavor".

Mom is the one everyone calls with their problems or needs. Whether it is taking toilet paper to Denver for Carrie [they don't sell it at grocery stores down there] or sewing a hook on my skirt or altering a dress for Sara [they don't have tailors in NY], she does it.

so those are the women of 655 that I get to rub shoulders with. i'm not sure how or why i was chosen to be one of the lewis girls but i am thankful every single day. they inspire me and make me want to be a better person.


liz said...

wow. this was a really moving post I didn't deserve to peek in on.

you are all blessed to have each other.

my thoughts are with you gals while you are going through this time.

and now i'm going to throw away the lunchmeat with nitrates from my fridge, play with my kids at the park, and find someone to bring a meal to. ;-) oh and then write something nice about my sister cos I miss her.

sara said...

Thanks Laura. I needed that today. Having a bad one... hopefully I'll feel better after a good cry.


Amanda P said...

Laura, that was beautiful. You guys are all so amazing. You make me want to be better! :) I agree with Liz that it was very moving. I am so glad you have this blog because even though we are all over the country, I feel that we are still good friends and even better cousins too. We love you guys, and we love the matriach of it all too! We love you Aunt Kathleen.

maren said...

I agree with Amanda. You Lewis girls are made from something stronger, better, and definitely funnier than most.

Grant and I are praying constantly for Uncle Gordon and for your whole family. We love you so much.

Also, I'm not really sure if I ever really told you this, but it really meant so much to have you at our wedding.

carrie said...

Thanks so much yah yah. I love you!

autumn said...

And posts like this is why I love y'alls blog. I never know if I'm going to be laughing or crying. This one was a "cryer". Beautifully written and very touching. Makes me want to be adopted by the Lewis clan.