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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Blizzard of 2011 and Groundhog Day

Snow angels and groundhogs.  Who would have thunked it?  The great blizzard of 2011 paralyzed the Chicagoland area last night and today.  While most people were excited about the unexpected snow day, I was excited to have the day off to celebrate Piper's first Groundhog Day.  Yes, I said Groundhog Day and I know it's strange.

Years ago my dad and I started making a big deal out of celebrating Groundhog Day simplify because it is such a silly holiday.  It was a special quirky thing that we shared.  We'd call each other first thing in the morning on February 2, follow Puxatawney Phil online and send each other funny e-cards leading up to the big day.  All of our friends and family would make fun of us, but they couldn't resist the craziness and eventually joined in on the silly celebrations.

I'll never forget the first Groundhog Day I celebrated without my dad.  It was February 2, 2008, almost two months since we lost my dad to cancer.  That day was harder for me than his birthday or the anniversary of his passing.  I was dialing his number first thing in the morning when it hit me that he wasn't there to share our annual Groundhog Day chat.  My stomach dropped.

To be honest, it's still a bittersweet day, but it's definitely leaning more towards the sweet side of things with Piper around.  Although my husband thinks I'm crazy, Groundhog Day will always be a big holiday celebrated in the McGrath household.  Partly because I still think it's fun and silly, but partly because it will be a way for Piper to remember the grandfather she never met.  I have no doubt he is smiling down on her all of the time, but today, I am sure he is getting a chuckle about her Groundhog Day onesie.  He would be thrilled to know that we are carrying on the tradition.

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