My parents have been staying with us since Thursday. This resulted in many baked goods, a lovely home cooked meal and some quality time with my parents. It also saved them from spending tons of money on a hotel when they come to town. Even though my parents think they are being burdens by staying with us, they really aren’t. I don’t see them much anymore since they moved and my place is big enough that we can all have some space when we need it.
At least I didn’t think it was too bad having them here, hopefully they didn’t think it was awful staying here.
Jinx and even skittish Sophie enjoyed the visit as well. Helps when Grammy and Grampy are constantly feeding them treats. Jinx is a mopey gus right now and really sucky for cuddles. He’s been following me around and pawing at me to pet him all afternoon. He even came upstairs with me when I went to take a nap. I guess he really liked having them around. Sophie was saucy and flirty with my father. She wouldn’t always let him pet her but she LOVED to talk to him. RoooRoooOoooing and barking when he’d come by and she wiggled and wagged and trotted around after him. She doesn’t speak a lot when there are people around she doesn’t know or isn’t comfortable with, so I could tell how much she liked my father by how verbal she was with him. More-so than with Shawn (mostly she tells him off when he puts on his belt in the morning. Don’t know what that’s all about.)
It was nice having my parents here and still having my christmas stuff up. This is also the first time in years that I had all my decorations up past December 27 or so. Shawn and I took everything down yesterday afternoon and now the house feels so big and empty. Even more empty with my parents gone!
I had every intention of having a family photo taken while my parents are here. After all, life is precious and you always want to keep current memories alive. But of course I totally forgot to take photos with my parents and I’m really bummed out by that. So, I decided to try and recreate the visit from memory.
Mum & Dad visit, January 2013
At least I have fruitcake to remember this visit by. Yum.
Yesterday I forgot to take my lunch break. I ate throughout the day, while at my desk, but was so busy it wasn’t until I was on the bus home that I turned to Shawn and said, “Hey, I forgot to take my lunch today!” I wasn’t the kind of busy that stressed me out, I was just busy enough that I was able to get from one task to the other and the other (of course all these tasks ended up preempting my original plan of filing & cleaning off my desk). Little urgent things kept popping up over the course of the day and well, I just forgot to take my break.
So today, I’m taking a break. Mostly, I just wanted to sit and truly enjoy my lunch made up of leftovers from last night’s delicious meal.
Roast by Mummy. Sides & Mashing by Dad & Shawn. Eaten by ME!
My parents are visiting this week and staying with us until Sunday. You have no idea how delighted I was to come home from work last night and have them cooking dinner for us. It was ready not too long after we got home and it was DELICIOUS! This is a good reason for your parents to have a key to your home. For times like this when they show up in the afternoon and you don’t have to meet them somewhere to give them a key. They can just let themselves in, greet the dogs, unpack their things and start cooking you dinner.
Much to Shawn’s chagrin we had roast beef. Mmmmmm. It’s actually my early birthday dinner-slash-Christmas dinner since I didn’t see my parents over the holidays and I won’t see them at the end of this month for my birthday. Oh how I loved every bit of it. I even had TWO helpings. I guess I over ate, but I didn’t FEEL bloated or too stuffed. I felt great after eating it. We don’t make roast ourselves, mostly because Shawn doesn’t like it and secondly because, well, I don’t feel like making this big of a meal for only two people (even though I can live on the leftovers forever!)
Sophie is also appreciating this visit as it means she doesn’t have to get crated when we leave in the morning. My father was up and downstairs when we left, so Sophie could continue sleeping on the couch.
My idea to start of this semester (which is how I think of the “new year” hoopla) is to try and appreciate all the little things, the simple things and try not to become too enraged over things I can’t change. I can’t fight peoples’ battles for them, I can’t change procedures at work that are set in stone. I need to be less cynical and jaded and annoyed by things.
The last few weeks of friends who have been ill or passed away have started putting things back into perspective for me. I lost some of that after we came back from the strike. Way too much bitterness seeped through and although I started off aloof and not getting involved, I let that go and started with the rage and annoyance again.
I appreciate my family and my friends so much. I want to do more things to show them how much they mean. Can I do this? I hope so. I have made so many other changes in my life recently that I have stuck with almost 100% (I’d say about 90%), eating habits, exercising habits, etc. I can change other habits too.
I’m a very happy person these days, even if I don’t feel like it once in a while. I have a lot going for me and I want to appreciate THAT, too. I want to be able to find the joy and hope in every day like I used to (even though I was depressed). Every day I want to think of something I am thankful for, appreciative of, that makes me happy.
Meanwhile, I’m going to appreciate every single piece of left over roast beef that’s in my fridge until it’s gone. I am going to appreciate it SO much. And by appreciate I mean EAT. Yum.
I have been in a weird head space for almost a year now. Everything is so dissonant and out of joint and I can’t figure out how to fix it. Part of it is work, I have so much going on in my head about what I need to keep track of and it’s causing me to lose sleep (I was up at 4 am this morning and haven’t been able to sleep since – not even a nap). As soon as I close my eyes, the voices in my head get really, really loud reminding me what I’ve forgotten, or what I have to remember to do. There are things currently in my life that are just pounding on my brain and I can’t shut them up.
All day today I have been fretting about this stupid trip to Russia that my boss is going on. The saga has been a daily part of my work life since mid-August. It’s driving me crazy!! If I’m not worried about this, I’m worried about my class and the research paper I have to write and hand in my November 9. I was supposed to work on it all last weekend but I did nothing but panic each time I thought about it and convince myself I am just going to fail so why bother.
In the middle of all this worry today I realized something even more important than travel visas, expense reports and school work… I completely missed October 22 $ 23.
I. Missed. October. 22 & 23.
These are not dates that ever go by without notice. They are seared into my soul like Christmas dates, or my birthday. I can’t even believe that the dates passed and I didn’t think twice about it because the last two months have just whizzed by and I can’t ever remember what date it is anymore.
When I suddenly realized the date today, I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach. I couldn’t breathe. I felt dizzy (and not because I’d been up since 4am). I am honestly distraught by this and feel like I am the worst person in the world.
October 22 & 23 are such important dates in my life. No matter what’s going on in my life I always stop and think about those two days in 1994. I can’t believe this anniversary of the passing of my friend and her mother just slipped by me this year.
Where the hell was my head? I was at my BodyTalk session on Tuesday night. It was the 23rd THEN. I don’t even think I realized the date. That’s not like me.
We’re almost at 20 years since that accident happened. I don’t want to forget. I didn’t forget, really, but I did. I feel horrible about this and I know it’s not the end of the world, but for me… for something that has been such an important part of my life, for something that has had such an impact on my life… for it to just pass by without my notice? It feels like part of my soul was removed.
I don’t care if that sounds dramatic and over the top. Right now I am feeling so many things, so passionately I just can’t keep it all in.
How the hell could I forget something this Big in my life? I’m sorry Erin & Heather, I truly am. Even though I think of Erin on a regular basis (how would she look? What would she be doing? What would she think of this, that or the other?) I feel as though I let her down. Hell, her birthday in August whizzed by, too. I didn’t even notice the days. What is wrong with me this year?
So I’m going to post my annual post here, at the bottom of this one – on the wrong date – because I need to post it to soothe some of the voices right now. I need to offer my tribute to the spirits and let two very important people know that they are not forgotten. I’m just in a strange head space.
erin walker :: august 6, 1977 – october 23, 1994
when i close my eyes
she’s too young to be forgotten
her world has only just begun
her future is an empty slate
waiting to be filled
and i see her
when i close my eyes
dancing in the sky
over moonbeams, around clouds
starlight in her eyes
angels in her hair
and i see her
when i close my eyes
child of the sunlight
daughter of the day
sleeping on bed of roses
with flowers in her hair
the wind it softly kissed her cheek
the raindrops fell like tears
and i see her
when i close my eyes
a thousand white candles
their flames dancing with the air
as rocks play tag with ocean
she’s fast asleep
never to be woken
and i see her
when i close my eyes
© catherine healy
October 23, 1994
July 12, 1942
I wanted to post this on July 12, which would have been my grandparents’ 70th wedding anniversary, but I didn’t have time to sit in front of the computer and blog. Apparently when one works for a living, work tends to get in the way of non-work and after spending all day at the computer, I just don’t feel like doing the same when I get home. Alas.
It hit me at the start of this month that had my grandparents still been alive, this would have marked their 70th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately my grandfather passed away right before their 67th anniversary and my grandmother 10 months later. I still think of them every single day. I still get the urge to call my Nana when we have a small lull in the afternoon at work. It always catches me short when I realize I can’t do that anymore. Three years might have come and gone between losing my grandparents but after 33 years of having them in my life, pretty much daily, it’s a hard habit to kick.
My grandparents did actually get to spend 70 years together, since they dated for three years before tying the knot. Imagine. Seventy years with the same person by your side for better or for worse. Seventy years getting to spend each day in the company of your best friend. I can only wish that Shawn and I will have that, but we were older when we met, and I don’t know if we’ll be blessed with 70 years together or not. If we even reach our 67th anniversary, we’ll be 96 and 95 respectively. I can’t see us living that long! I’m not being negative, it’s just such a huge thing to get your head around, that one day you might be 4 years away from being alive for a CENTURY!
July 2, 2005
In this day and age when people seem to treat marriage like dating, like it doesn’t mean as much as it should, I think people who reach those marriage milestones of 20, 30, 40… 67 years are just so lucky. I feel like people just don’t get married for the right reasons anymore.
I’m saying this not being a huge fan of marriage. I mean, I didn’t grow up dreaming of my perfect wedding day, or the dress I’d wear. I never dreamed that one day my One True Love would come sweeping into my life and pick me up off my feet. Shawn and I never thought we’d get married, but one day it just felt right. So we did. I don’t like church weddings. I think the Church puts too many limitations on marriage. I like the idea of Hand Fasting (one word?) and tying two souls together. I love that marriage is a promise full of love and hope.
People seem to love differently today than in the past. I can even tell a difference in just the last 20 years, but it’s certainly obvious in the 70 year gap between my grandparents and today. I can’t explain it in words, but the kind of love and relationship that my grandparents have, that even my parents have, is so rare these days. I like to think that Shawn and I have that kind of love and partnership. I know of some friends who certainly do. People who spend their lives together because they love each other, not because it looks good to get married. I have friends who aren’t married to who have this bond, as well. You don’t have to have a piece of paper to prove your love.
I miss my Nana and Poppop so strongly and at times it’s still sort of overwhelming. There’s a little Mexican restaurant Shawn and I discovered a few years ago that’s just across the street from the senior’s apartment my grandparents moved into in… 2004? 2003? Hmm. Anyhow, they’d moved from their house of 60 years into an apartment and for some reason I always get hit by this wave of sadness when I see it now that they are gone. I don’t get that same punch from passing by their old house – a house that I spent MUCH of my childhood growing up in. That could possibly be because the people who bought it completely remodeled it and added a second story, etc. Actually, THAT really bugs me. That they CHANGED the house I loved so much. BUT the apartment just makes me miss them so very much. When we eat at Tamales I can see it just across the street and I feel melancholy but also a little happy as it makes me bring up all these memories of my grandparents.
My POINT, I guess, is that I was very aware of this year and this July being the 70th wedding anniversary of my grandparents and I am missing them a lot once more. I have been so lucky to have had them in my life for 33 years. I really, truly am lucky. They were wonderful, loving people. Strong and funny. Friendly. Big hearted. (Hart All Over as my grandfather, John Hart, would say).
They helped teach me what it means to love and be loved. They showed me what it takes to make a marriage and relationship work. They, along with my parents, helped mold me into the woman I am today and for that, I shall forever be thankful.
Seventy years of love. You can’t get much better than that.
On May 19 (or 20th.. since I always get the date wrong) my parents will have been married 40 years. In this day and age where the average marriage seems to last about 36 days, I think this is a pretty amazing thing.
My sister and I wanted to do something to celebrate this accomplishment but we had a problem; our parents are moving away before May 1st and wouldn’t be here to celebrate with us! Since we knew they wouldn’t want a big deal made out of the whole thing, I figured they’d be ok with us celebrating without them. Heh. So Deb and I came up with a plan B – throw them a joint Going Away and Anniversary party!
Our next hurdle was making the party a non-party, since a) my parents wouldn’t want one and b) we didn’t have a ton of money or space. Since my parents and my sister’s family tend to go to the Cabane a Sucre every spring, why not try to do something there? This way our parents wouldn’t suspect a thing because it would be way before their anniversary and move date.
We’ve been planning this since December although I give total credit to my sister for all the hard work (finding a place, making reservations, making and sending out invitations) because I dropped the ball due to the extra crazy that was work when I got back from strike with my boss away until February. In fact, I’d completely forgotten about this until the day I got the invite in the mail and I called my sister and said “OMG! Thank you! You’re awesome, we’ll be there!” I feel bad for not being able to have done more prep, but I didn’t even have time to take lunch at work for 3 months. Ugh.
We had 26 family and friends all together and the last hurdle was getting my parents there.
Why? Well, they are still house hunting, unfortunately and were headed back to their prospective new town to look at a house today. My sister had to sort of break the surprise by saying they couldn’t cancel the outing, but she wouldn’t tell them who was coming. Oops.
Of course after 2 weeks of wonderful weather today was cold and wet, but it turned out to be a decent afternoon. I don’t think I have ever gone sugaring off on a warm, sunny day. It’s always cold and wet in my experience!
We had not-so-healthy food:
My nice Lilly, our cousin Audrey and I had our arms painted:
I fed some goats and got ignored by a llama:
We took a horse and wagon ride:
I happen to love this photo!
We ate snow toffee:
And Lilly went on a pony ride:
My parents seemed much less grumpy about the whole thing by the end of it. Even if you don’t want people to make a big deal over you, it’s nice to know so many people love you, want to celebrate you and want to wish you well as you move away. By combining both events it gave people a chance to share their love and wishes with my parents. They will be missed by friends and family and it’s nice to know you have friends and family to visit when you come back once in a while. I wish we could have done more, had more people (many couldn’t make it and we just didn’t have the money to rent a hall or something) but I think it was a nice, smaller group and everyone seemed to have a good time.
I know my grandparents would have made sure something was done had they still been around. We always celebrated their milestone wedding anniversaries and since they were together 70 years by the time they passed away, they are pillars of the institution of marriage and that’s something so rare these days. My grandparents (my Mum’s parents) were big on family and love and would have wanted to be here to celebrate their daughter and son-in-laws’ 40th. Even though my parents’ anniversary is normally on a long weekend in May, it would have been impossible to get everyone 3 hours away to celebrate on that weekend. This way we could all participate!
I have not been to a real cabane a sucre since high school. This place wasn’t bad, although the service could have been better at the table my sister and parents were at. Ours wasn’t so bad, but they really were stingy with the portions. Eh, it was really nice OUTSIDE, so once the rain stopped and the weather warmed (slightly) it was nice to walk around.
Mostly, it was nice to be with family and friends who wish my parents nothing but love and happiness in their future together – away from us.