Solumn and somber are the two words that best describe how I feel right now after my sister's passing.
Utter disbelief is also a two-word feeling that is prevalent right now too.
The events of Friday to Tuesday were whirlwind, and things are slowly returning back to what they once were - minus my sister.
I made the rounds Wednesday to each of the four Chick-Fil-A locations that were giving 20% of their sales to my brother-in-law and the girls and thanked their management that was on-site at the time.
It was the least that I could do.
At the FM 2920@Kuykendahl location, I had a spicy chicken breakfast burrito at about 10 a.m. I talked to store owner Mike Ludwig briefly as he was in the middle of an interview. I was glad that they let me pay to play a small part in the support.
I had lunch with a good friend of mine at the Alden Bridge location - she bought; thanks Beth! - and had the six-piece Chick-Fil-A nuggets with a large diet coke. The store owner's wife Jenni Skipper was there and talked to her and one of their managers, Ryan.
Beth and I spent a good amount of time there catching up. We've been friends since some time in 2006 while she and Holly became friends in the last year or two.
I then went to the Magnolia location near Egypt Rd. and FM 1488 and had a large chocolate shake. I met their manager, Joelle Spencer, and thanked her -- and found out that she is a very good friend of mine, Karen Felicidario.
And, finally, after running 3.25 miles on the track with some very good friends of mine, I ended up at the Louetta Rd. and I-45 location to have the 12-piece Chick-Fil-A nuggets for dinner, again with the large diet coke.
Our church's youth group went by there and supported the cause as well as a high school classmate of mine - Sylvia Torres - whose sister got many, many flower orders (at her company, Always Floral) -- and that she actually helped to prepare. Her sister did the beautiful display of red roses -- or "celebrity roses" as they were described to me Monday night -- that sat on top of the casket.
Phew! Four Chick-fil-A's in one day.
I like the food, but not "that" much to do that again anytime soon.
Yesterday, I went back to work.
I worked a little over 11 hours and since a lot of my work is heads-down, getting back into the swing of things was pretty easy and without a lot of disruption.
My client is excellent. I had a call from the person that I directly report to on Tuesday evening. He's an EMT and was able to share things with him during the week as they transpired to get a clinical understanding of what was happening with my sister.
His fellow director had a total understanding of what was going on with my sister because they had a similar situation - with a relative - in which ECMO saved that person's life.
When I arrived yesterday morning, she had left a sympathy card on my desk.
Not expecting to have seen my manager in town (as they live in South Carolina), I had sent them an e-mail that I was back to work, but their reply this morning was to remind me to "stay busy".
They said Thursday morning that they had suffered a similar loss in their past.
One of our local training groups, Volte Endurance Training, headed up by my best friend, Bill Dwyer, had sent some flowers yesterday.
I'm not the biggest flower person in the world, but they were pretty and the vase turned out to be one of the team's colors. I really appreciated their thoughtfulness as well as a lot of individual one-on-one attention that their group had given me.
And that's the type of person that I am -- a one-on-one individual.
I'd rather spend time alone than have anything - whether it be a group or an individual even - forced upon me. I'm not a control freak, but I am an introvert and like my space.
(There's probably somebody ruling me out of a job over this ... but, it would be their loss.)
That being said, I certainly don't want to discourage people from reaching out. There may be times that I have to say to folks in the interim that I may be a little longer in getting back with them, that's all.
Otherwise, it is day by day and one foot in front of other - just like before.