Its been interesting staying here at my Dad and Patty's house, with my siblings, all at the same time. Sadly, this is what Patty always wanted, but rarely achieved. She wanted us to share Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or a summer trip….all here together as a family unit! However, as each of our lives got hectic, and then as we started families of our own, this never occurred. It became too hard for all of us to manage vacations, or time off, at the exact time same time, and it became even harder as our children grew older, and had events for us to coordinate, in addition to our own.
It's ironic that we found the time now. Looking back, I wish we had made it more of a priority, but who could ever have known?!….No one ever knows! It's impossible to plan life like that, and pointless to beat ourselves up about it now. We all had plenty of great times together…just not necessarily at this house.
Last year, while Patty was going through chemotherapy, one of my brothers and sister in laws was here, at the same time as Renee and I. Patty wanted out of the house, and she wanted to walk….though she was very tired and frail. She took us on a whole wine trail, through the Grapevine area…about six wineries total. We went to lunch, we walked, we talked, we laughed, we loved…….
She tired before the last 2, and needed to go home to rest, so she and my dad took took their grand babies home to watch movies. It was a day to remember….
Last night, after my brothers and I, and their wives, made the last of the memorial arrangements at the church, we went to two of those same wineries. But this time, as a whole family unit…. Aunt rhonda included:). We were reminiscing, toasting, and missing our Mama P.
When we got back to the house, we started a fire in the fireplace, we listened to music, we sang, we talked, and we laughed, all while sipping on our winery finds. I KNOW that she was looking down and smiling. Her family was all here!
This time though, I was wishing that SHE could join US….
TODAY, we woke up refreshed…..That is, after my brothers got a good nights sleep, snuggling under a single blanket, out by the campfire…and after Renee and I slept on a hard bar, that was beneath the thin mattress of the the pull out couch, that conveniently rested beneath our spines and livers 🙂
It didnt matter though, because today….WE BUSTED OUT!
We cleaned! We vacuumed, dusted, did the dishes, and the laundry. My brothers, mowed, weed eated, cleaned the patio, and frolicked outside, while the ladies tended to the inside! I however got stuck bleaching two full bathrooms, that my dad assured me were clean?! I laughed out loud, and vomitted in my mouth, while cleaning my “dads bathroom”! I gave a shout out to Patty, saying “I now know why you said you never entered this room”! This house is now as clean as it will ever be again….Cheers to you Patty 🙂
After cleaning the house, and sharing a celebratory beer in the warm sun, we all loaded in the car, for the task that none of us looked forward to…..We went to pick up Pattys urn….
We were ok…My brothers, my dad, and I were together! On the way home though, my dad drove separately, he had errands to run. We laughed and talked with Patty, the whole way home. We reminded her that this is most likely the last time she will be alone with us…..without dad around…. So, we got our talking in….because from now on, my dad will dominate all the rest of the conversations that surround her:)
I dared my brother to text my dad and tell him that he accidently broke the angel wing off the urn. We laughed as we pictured telling him that we think that we got most of the ashes back in, and that we think we can hot glue it back on, so that MOST people wouldn't even notice!
We laughed hard, but I'm certain my dad wouldn't have found it funny right now. However, Patty would have laughed with us…Actually, I know she was. She would not have wanted us to drone on, making this whole process formal and serious. That is not how our family interacts.
The funny thing is, I could actually hear her laughing along with us while this was happening. Her laugh was always very contagious…..
I hope I never forget the sound of that laughter 🙂