Amanda Brendle Photography » Raleigh NC Wedding, Engagement, & Product Photographer

Lisa Moments – A Personal Post

As many of you know, my sister Lisa passed away in 2012 just a few short months after learning she had stage 4 cancer. This was devastating for me, as she has always been my best friend and confidant. This was also difficult to grasp for our family and all who knew her. It was hard to make sense of the fact that she just starting feeling “bad” over the holidays in 2011, received the “C” word diagnosis in February, and lost her battle less than 4 months later.

Lisa Moments

I miss my sister and think about her all the time, but sometimes these crazy, magical things happen (it varies – sometimes it’s once a week or less, other times it’s constant/daily). I call them “Lisa Moments”. They are these tiny puzzle pieces and reminders that she is still all around me. Though she’s no longer here in the physical form, I am amazed at these occurrences – like she’s popping up to say “Hi”.

One of Lisa’s “things” was owls. She was funky and eclectic, and seemed to find these crazy owl items that were just awesome. I see them everywhere and I’m reminded by her. (This also fueled my mini-obsession with funky owl decor that I find and must have in my life).

2 summers ago, it was ladybugs. Everywhere I went, I saw a ladybug. There was one constantly on my windshield that would ride along wherever I was driving to. I saw them in my office. At photoshoots. Online. Everywhere, ladybugs!

When I started my new job last year, there was a bird outside my office window every day for at least a week. It would just sit in that tree and seemed to greet me every time I looked up from my computer. Just weeks later, I had a deep conversation with my mom and the sweet woman who has come into our lives by way of my brother in law (Lisa’s widowed husband) about birds and their significance in death. Mind blown.

“Hootie Hoooooo!”

A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing some current events, obscure holidays, you know – browsing the internet and losing track of where I am through a rabbit hole – and I came across this gem:

There is apparently a couple in Pennsylvania who have developed a holiday on February 20th of each year called “Hoodie-Hoo Day”. While this may sound a little ridiculous to most of you, this stopped me in my tracks.

Leading up to Christmas, when you’re wrapping gifts, you know how at the end of the roll of wrapping paper, you’re left with a long, empty tube? I think it’s safe to assume that many of you throw it in the recycling (or garbage), or perhaps give it to your kiddos for a sword-fight of sorts. That tube is something a bit more purposeful for my family – It was always dubbed the “Hootie-Hoo” stick. Its purpose was to bother your family members as you march around the house, sneak behind corners, etc while shouting “HOOTIE-HOOOOOO” through the end of the tube and into the ears of your annoyed kin. Ridiculous, I know. But it was our thing! I don’t know how or where this originated, but it makes me laugh every Christmas when someone remembers the “HOOTIE”.

So when I learned that this “Hoodie-Hoo Day” was thought up by this creative couple to go outside at noon, wave your arms and yell “Hoodie-Hoo!” to chase winter away, I just knew it. This was another Lisa Moment. Want to know the real kicker? Lisa’s diagnosis came on February 20th (or within a day or two), which is the date of this holiday. I can’t believe the string of events that led me to stumble across this random website to find this crazy holiday.

I have goosebumps just thinking about it.

So go out and celebrate this wacky holiday tomorrow… and please let me know how many people give you crazy looks for waving your arms and hollering like a crazy person!  🙂

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