It Takes a Village…

What an amazing weekend.

As soon as Miss M and I got into my car yesterday to head back to CT, Mamãe’s favorite song, “The Happy Song” came on. Naturally, Aunty Laurie “freaked out” (Marisa’s description of my annoyingly exuberant response to life!)

“It’s Mamãe saying, ‘What an awesome weekend you guys!'” I shouted above the now blaring music.

Marisa’s face beamed as she bopped to the exact song we played for Terri at our surprise 40th birthday celebration on the eve of Terri’s fateful trip to Chicago.

Terri and Miss M busting out their moves to "The Happy Song" Oct. 2014

Terri and Miss M busting out their moves to “The Happy Song”, Oct. 2014











As the song ended, I locked eyes with Marisa in my rear view mirror. “Mamãe visited Papai this weekend too you know! It wasn’t in the form of a song, but I can’t tell you cuz it’s a surprise!”

The look I’ve come to recognize as her “Terri look” appeared. My heart contracts every time it happens. I feel Marisa’s heart opening to the presence of her mother. I recognize it because my heart does the exact same thing. I push back the tears that threaten to overflow.

From the moment I arrived in Marisa’s 1st grade classroom on Friday, I was viscerally aware of a seeming shift in her aura. The warmth with which her teacher, Mrs. H, welcomed me to join in the scarecrow making and birthday celebration for one of Marisa’s classmates matched the positivity exuding from Miss M. Hearing her teacher mouth to me, “She seems so happy,” filled my heart.

The loving energy continued in my kitchen, Taylor Swift playing on the stereo, as Marisa methodically created a spectacularly spooky poster for her cousin Jamie.










It compelled Uncle Markie and cousin Andrew to join Marisa and I for her first viewing of the “Wizard of Oz”.

It put smile after smile on the faces of her aunties, uncles, cousins, great aunt and great grandmother as we made an appearance at each of their homes on Saturday, and continued into Sunday after a sleep over with Jamie and Lala.

Hay ride with my BFF!

Hay ride with my BFF!

Love you Sophie Luanna!

Love you Sophie Luanna!


Selfie with Aunty Eryka

Selfie with Aunty Eryka










Pumpkin decorating with Katie!

Pumpkin decorating with Katie!
















But the culminating moment arrived late Sunday night. Although Heron had already moved me to tears earlier in the day with his preview of the gift he had lovingly created over the weekend for his beloved daughter (with Terri’s help, he told me), it didn’t prepare me for the wellspring of love and loss it evoked when I watched this video on Facebook-

You see, it truly does take a village…

And how incredibly lucky are we, the inhabitants of our gracefulwomanwarrior’s village, to be graced with Terri Luanna’s indelible presence through the gift that is her magical daughter?


Aunty Laurie

10 Responses

  1. Amazing ….I thought y’all were done posting and helping us deal with Teri’s love/life. You see my sister is named Teri and she is stage IV and I started following Teri’s blog for hope and encouragement….In Atlanta Ms. tEri will always be remembered …. I walked this weekend 30 miles to raise funds for breast cancer…so that others would receive encouragement and help.

    • Hi Kathy, Funny, but giving and receiving hope and encouragement is exactly why I decided to continue Terri’s blog. From the comments thus far, it is clear that Terri’s love and inspiration continues to carry a healing message. IN both life and death we all have an opportunity to learn from and help each other. Thank you for keeping her memory alive and for continuing to fight for both your sister and all others affected by this disease. With love and gratitude, Aunty Laurie

    • It probably was. I will see if I can upload a public one so you can see it. Thanks for letting me know!

  2. Hi Laurie,
    Still cannot download video, such a shame. Oh well, just have to keep checking back to see if you have rectified situation! Thanks again,
    Kathy Parsons, Vancouver

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