Weekends and Growing and Relationships and Missing People

We’ve had some busy weekends lately.

Traveling and flying and getting away.

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Sometimes, it’s completely necessary. And sometimes it’s impossible to travel as a family of 8 so we travel separately and get our fix in when we can.

Francesca and I jetted to Seattle to visit Papa and Lala. I’m not sure if you remember, but Papa is in the middle (actually towards the tail end!) of treatments there for Lymphoma. Cancer is scary and chemo is scary and not having your Papa and Lala around to visit everyday can be scary. We see them as often as we can. And even though there are lots of tears when they are gone and lots of “I wish Papa and Lala were here”s, we know it’s temporary. That this relatively short period of time is just a chapter in our story and we’ll finish it soon enough. So when we can skip over to visit, even if it’s just a couple of us, we do. Sometimes a couple of us kids go at the same time and there are lots of laughs and inappropriate jokes and so much good food. And doesn’t that sound like the best time?

Oh, and this bug is growing like crazy.

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She’s pretty incredible. Incredible and 16 weeks. Ah!

Ruthie tends to think about things very deeply and at all times. My mind is always working (which contributes to my anxiety and ocd issues, no doubt). Something I’ve been thinking a lot about are the relationships I have in my life. I look at my kids and what I want for them is what I have: siblings with whom there are no fights, a very concrete feeling that their parents would do anything under the sun for them, and friends who are family. I take every relationship I have in my life very seriously. If you are my friend, I will be all in and will treat you like you are my family. I will never take you for granted and you can always know that I treasure you, as absolutely corny as that sounds. I’m lucky that I have people in my life who love us enough that they are added to our family. People who love my kids as much as Danny and I love them and people who we just can’t wait to spend our days with. I have two brothers and a dad all of whom make me laugh more than anyone else in the world and a mom who will talk to me 6 times a day if that is what I need and about anything and everything. And all of them understand that even if I will never hug them or tell them I love them, I do. And then there’s Danny. I could write a million and one beautiful things about him. I’ll make a long story short and say that he’s just swell.

[And sometimes when Ruthie thinks deeply about things, she must write about them, too.]

When life gets especially busy or hard or frustrating, I miss people who aren’t here anymore. I miss Clay and his silly way. His hugs and the smart things he said and everything he was curious about. I miss his phone calls and texts and his music and his art. I miss him not being at kids birthday parties or randomly stopping by and even though it’s been years since he’s died, it’s still a part of me that’s missing and I feel it. And then something will happen (that’s been happening the last few weeks) and I’ll dream about him several nights in a row. And I’ll know he’s still here. I miss my grandma and her chicken strips and noodles. The way she laughed and the color of her lipstick and the smell of her perfume. I miss my grandpa and the bowl of nuts he’d have and the way he always carried a stack of business papers with him whenever he left the house and returned. But I feel lucky they sent down some pretty sweet kittens for me to love.

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So: happy Monday. Happy Spring and happy spring break. Happy Easter week and happy everything!

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