A Megsmiles Advent - December 20
A guest post from Honi Kalinowski:
Scott, I think I may have shared some of this with you, your Mom, and Pam, but I thought it might be worthwhile to share it again in case I left something out. I am a mom of seven kids. (Granted, only five are still living at home). I also provide foster and emergency respite care for Henrico County. In addition to that, I babysit for other teachers and so I usually have seven children under the age of three with me for most of the day. What that means is that outside of the conversations I have with my baby/toddler’s mom’s, social workers, and family, I sometimes go long stretches without having adult conversations that don’t revolve around the antics of the cute little people in my life.
So when my son started kindergarten at Kersey Creek, I was looking forward to meeting another mom (hopefully someone with a large brood like my own) that I could have some fellowship with. (Moms of multiples just get it – for example, they understand that there is no such thing as completing a full sentence in the company of children). But I kept striking out. The response I typically get when I am out with my gaggle of kids is a slightly confused, surprised, puzzled and sometimes even a disapproving look. They count heads, taking in the variety of ages and color, guess familial relationships…At best I get a smile of pity, or the dreaded “Wow, You’ve got your hands full!” Side note: Can you imagine walking up to someone’s desk at work and uttering the same phrase? Not helpful or encouraging! Better option: “You’re doing a great job! Look at you! Way to go!” Seriously, give the next parent of a bunch of kids (or a teacher!) that you see a high five and you will ROCK their day.
Granted, if an onlooker brings their line of vision above the throng of kids to meet my face, it’s yet another shock to the system. I’m not exactly easy on the eyes. I can’t tell you the last time my hair has seen a comb – it’s usually sprouting wayward frizzy curls. I’ve got bags under my eyes, and it’s not unusual for me to be wearing some sort of sweats with rain boots. My shirts are decorated at the shoulder with spit up, and my glasses usually have some sort of kid print smear on them. In short, a hot mess. I’d look away too. So I was feeling sorry for myself one day while dropping off something for a classroom party. There was no mom connection. And then your beautiful Meg passed me in the hall. She gave me a smile that I have since learned is a trademark Meg smile. I don’t know how she did it but she managed to cram compassion, warmth, and kindness all into that gorgeous, welcoming smile.
I was convinced I knew her, because it was the smile that a best friend, a sister, or an old friend gives in greeting. That smile lit my world up, destroyed my pity party, and made my whole day. What a gift she gave me! It was just a nanosecond but it meant so much. I made it a goal to meet her again and befriend her but sadly never got the chance before she was taken away. However, I’ve been blessed enough to get to read/hear about who she was, and to snag some of those amazing Mom hugs from her incredible Momma. (Pam, your hugs are hands down the best in the world. No exaggeration. And Wirt’s are a close second).
It isn’t my only Meg memory. The other one is yet another sweet one and it involves you. It was after a play of some sort (thanksgiving? Christmas?). And as usual I was jamming up the flow of traffic, trying to maneuver my crew through the crowded hall in an effort to greet my son. Meg stood patiently by, no hint of annoyance or frustration over my bumbling efforts to squeeze in. And I watched as her gaze shifted from my stroller to looking over sweetly at you as you stepped in, scooped Skye up, and hugged her like the awesome dad that you are. She looked on lovingly, content to let you love your baby girl up, and seemed to derive so much pleasure from the scene. The look on her face is what I picture her having as she watches over you from Heaven. Love and pride.
So it’s not much to offer you, just two small moments of time in the presence of your angel, but I hope that they bring you some comfort and joy. Your Meg was the reason I picked up a pair of sneakers and hit the road. Because of her legacy I was inspired to strengthen my faith (and my body) and strive to be a better Mom, and a better Christian. I went from getting winded bringing groceries in to running 10 hilly miles with your Mom last Saturday. (By the way, those are some kick butt hills; I am going to have to hit those again once my legs have forgiven me) I’ve lost 27 lbs and 4 pant sizes. And I have gained a family of friends within the runner community. Meg continues to enrich my life and I am grateful.
God Bless you and your family Scott. Know that you all are in my prayers.
A guest post from John Mayros:
My youngest of 2 boys was in the midst of cross country season in 2013. While watching him train I got inspired by him to start running and to also live a healthier lifestyle. At the time I had spent the last 25 years or so addicted to chewing tobacco. I thought to myself that if I wanted to be around for my boys that I needed to make a change. I needed to do it. So July of 2013 I ran my first mile and continued to do so, making it a little bit farther week by week.
Than I heard the tragic news of Meg's passing and immediately felt sadness and tears. Not ever knowing Meg before this, I know now that she was a devoted wife, mother, friend and sister in Christ. Since her passing I have learned more about Meg through this group and am encouraged and inspired everyday to "Dig Deep" in my own life, for my family and hopefully inspiring others to make a change like my son did for me. Thank you for the encouragement, inspiration, and friendships.
Has your life been impacted by the death of Meg Menzies. Please share your story.
Since January, thousands of lives have been impacted by the death of Meg Menzies. Many of us have been overwhelmed with sadness. But many of us have also found love and hope and encouragement at a time we needed it most. As we've learned more about who Meg was and accepted the call to share her legacy with the world, the stories of our lives have been forever changed. And we've seen lives around us change.
If your life has been impacted by Meg's death, I invite you to share your story at the link below. It's my hope our stories will bring comfort and maybe an occasional smile to the Menzies and Cross families who greatly miss Meg, especially so over this holiday season.
Submit your story here.
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