My mom came to visit a couple of weeks ago in order to ride with my sister to her son Jared's college graduation. They returned a week ago today (Monday) and my mom stayed until early Friday morning.
When my mom is around? It is something wonderful. "Let me make you a salad," she says, and then she goes through my refrigerator, finds as many salad ingredients as she can find, and chops them up into minuscule pieces so that I can easily handle more veggies than lettuce. Her salads are the bomb.
She'll cook for me, help me organize, help me clean...whatever I want. And so during my lunch time at work, I headed over to Tami's and spent the hour hanging with my mom. We'd sit on the couch...well, Mom would sit on the couch. I would lay on the couch and prop my feet on Mom's lap, and we would chat away.
On Tuesday evening, we celebrated Mom's birthday (which actually happened the previous day but that's the way we roll sometimes). Mom cooked potato mountains -- baked potatoes piled high with black beans, cheese sauce, and avocado. Delicious. And yes. Mom cooked her birthday dinner. When it comes to moms, we know how to pick 'em.
But she never complains. That's just how she rolls.
Before she left on Friday morning, she called me to say goodbye. She was finishing up her packing and some last minute things before heading off. It made my heart a little sad as there is just nothing like having your mom around. Moms have your back. They think you're funny and they just love you like none other. And my mom? She's 82. You'd never know it. She's a keeper.
On Saturday, my dad and Jo arrived. Now let me just say that a visit from Dad and Jo is a rare treat. My sister Lori came down as well and so we all gathered at my house for the 24 hours we had them. One of Dad's infamous statements is, Fish and company stink after three days. He's always sure to leave us wanting more.
We spent quite a bit of time hanging on our back porch and chatting it up about anything and everything. Jo told Dad, Don't talk about religion or politics! And so of course Dad went there immediately.
Because that's the way Dad rolls.
Jo brought me a housewarming gift: this beautiful center piece for a table and hand towels -- all of which she herself crafted. Jo's talent for creating is unsurpassed. Everything she touches turns to gold.
And we ate too -- so much food. Burgers on the grill and roast and strawberry shortcake and cookies and jello. More food than we could eat -- enough for farm hands, Dad said.
As Sunday was Mother's Day, my girls called in the midst of it all: Savana from Florida and Darian from Bolivia as she went down to see her kids one more time.
My heart was full to bursting from life's greatest bounty: family.
Right after lunch, Dad and Jo loaded up their van and hugged us all goodbye. And of course, tears welled up for me as they always do.
My dad is 82 as well. He's amazing -- one would never guess his age. He's still this same man whose very presence demands respect. His approval, his support, his laughter, his teasing...I cherish it all.
My heart had a hole in it the remainder of the afternoon once everyone left for home. Our house was quiet; the walls echoed. I couldn't bear going out to the porch, my usual refuge, as it seemed so barren without laughter and family. I mindlessly picked up some straggling things that were lying around the house, checked my email, dusted off my phone which I'd barely touched over the past 48 hours so that I could be fully present.
Last night, Tami, Chas, Roy and I loaded up and headed to Sweet Frogs as a last hoorah. We chatted about the weekend, rehearsed some of the fun things that happened, and treasured the last bit of Mother's Day as if we were squeezing the last remnants of juice from it. They dropped us off at home around 9:00 and we waved goodbye as they drove away.
One more goodbye.
And then we turned around and saw their house right next door. It's framed now and the roof should be put on this week. The future loomed up in front of me -- our kids coming home, hanging out on our back porches and watching the sun set as fireflies flit, bonfires on the back acre, our families converging as one.
So much ahead...so much beauty to look forward to.
Roy and I walked inside and locked the door behind us.