Happy Easter! Easter Sunday also happened to be mom’s birthday. Last year, we celebrated dad’s birthday on Easter Sunday. I worried about how that memory would affect us all – especially mom – but at least on the outside, it seemed she had a really good day. I think having her birthday with the busy distraction that Easter provided was helpful.
(Post-church. Some of the Church-dressiness disappeared the second we walked in the door. Notice Kayliana was more than happy to stay in her dress and tights though!)
The kids Easter egg hunting. Chris and mom hid some in our yard for them.
A couple of weeks ago, we all (our fab five plus mom and my brother Chris) went to the Port Ludlow beach house. I knew this would be bittersweet. And it was. It’s just so stinking beautiful there. For a while – despite a slightly chilly breeze – I sat on the deck and just tried to soak in the view. One thing I also did was take a ton of clippings from their beautiful blue hydrangea bush. I studied up on how to propagate the cuttings and I’m praying that it works. It would make me so happy to look out and see some Port Ludlow beach house hydrangeas blooming all over my yard. (Plus they’re my very favorite plant. Ever).
We also go all sorts of Macgyver in figuring out a way to cover dad’s vintage pick-up truck. He just bought it last spring from the sister of a priest who had passed away (and that we’d all known). Dad was so ridiculously excited about that little, old pick-up truck. When I talked to him on the phone, he told me, “We went to the estate sale that Fr. G’s sister had of his belongings. I bought myself a little souvenir.” When he told me this little souvenir was a pick-up truck, I laughed so hard. The boys also LOVED the thought of D-dad taking home…a truck. From day 1, Matthew apparently assumed that the truck would be his someday.
Unfortunately, shortly before dad died, the truck wouldn’t start. Hmmm, dead battery? Weird coincidence? We’ve actually since learned it’s not just the battery. But, because of where the truck was sitting, the cab was just filling with rain water like crazy. We manually – Mom, Mike, Chris and I – managed to turn it around so the slope would help it drain. The kids helped washed it – it was nearly green with pollen – (and then had a great time sitting in it). Matthew was near tears when we told him that we wouldn’t be keeping the truck. He REALLY wants it. But there’s nowhere for us to keep; no way for us to do all the maintenance it would require, etc. Anyway, after getting it turned around we also found an enormous window in the shed to lay across the top of the bed and then tarped it well (so water wouldn’t just puddle).
While we were there, Mom interviewed several different yard maintenance people. She’s going to need help – the place is on an acre with some more ‘natural’ woods, some yard and some manicured flower beds. It’s a lot of work. And holy moly, dad loved it there. They – especially he – spent months (nearly two years) fixing the place up (and there’s still a few projects he didn’t get to it. Darn it, dad).
The evening that we arrived, Chris and mom had already spent a day there. Mom had done yard work for hours that day and she said it was the first time that it really hit her. They would spend a day doing yard work and then sit on the deck and have a drink. She’d never get to do that with him ever again.
When we got home from Port Ludlow, after a few days away, I noticed with fresh eyes my sympathy card display. On a few different occasions, I’ve been about to take them down and then stopped. I just can’t yet. I’m sure there is some serious Dr. Phil explination: would I feel guilty for taking them down? Is that announcing to everyone, the world, MYSELF that I’m fine…I’ve grieved…and now I’m good? Maybe just seeing them is a reminder for the rough moments that I do have so much love and support. It’ll be five months this coming Saturday since dad died. Maybe I’ll take them down…or wait until next month.