|Last walk before leaving|
Today was all about clean up! The only draw back to staying at a house versus a hotel for vacations is that you have to clean up the mess you make before you leave. Fortunately, over the years we have become more creative and efficient so that the last day isn't as overwhelming (I guess I should check with Gordy before I make that declaration...hee-hee!) For example, we do laundry on a daily basis instead of waiting to do it all on the last day.
For the most part, Joe and Todd supervised the kids while Gordy, Sharon and I ran to and fro, sometimes with a plan, most of the time not :) Although no one said a word, a growing amount of tension had accumulated. The adults (and Sosie and Addie) were keenly aware that this "might" be the last beach house vacation we take as a complete family. I did everything I could to avoid thinking about that....instantly I would have tears accumulate if I allowed myself to. How could we ever be complete?? It is not possible!! Pure and simple....if Nina is not healed we will never be complete....ever again!!!
As Joe finished loading up his car, Sosie and Adelae got into a terrible fight. The fact was that the girls had been on excellent behavior the entire trip and really had gotten along. Now, the fatigue from the week-long adventures, the anxiety about returning to school, and the tension all around created the perfect petri-dish for a sisterly argument......about....oh no....who could use the hair brush!!! How stereotypically girlie and sisterly can you get!! I tried to redirect but they would not listen...so what did I do....I started to cry...not hysterically...quietly. I knelt next to them and told them I needed them to listen to me carefully. I proceeded to thank them for being so great during the entire vacation and especially for loving Nina so tenderly. I told them their devotion to her was one of the greatest gifts of my life. I then thanked them for being so brave, that many adults in their shoes would have avoided being so close to Nina because of how much it hurts. I took each of their hands and asked them to look at me...then I reminded them that unfortunately they carried a heavy burden, one that I wished no kid ever had to carry, the prospect of losing someone so dear, their sweet cousin, to cancer. Then I changed my tone to a bit more serious and explained that with this burden came a serious responsibility and that was to savour life and have a grateful heart for all the blessings that we have in our lives, including each other! Both the girls looked slightly piqued. I squeezed their hands and told them that they were so blessed to have each other as sisters and should fiercely guard that blessing with all of their strength and that fighting over who could use the hair brush was bull-shit....pure and nasty bull-shit and that I expected better from them. I hugged them and told them I loved them! Then I walked out. I found Gordy in the other room and he thanked me for having that conversation with them. I smiled and agreed. The girls got along beautifully the rest of the morning.
|Teddy preparing for his cousins' departure. Saying goodbye totally warrants camo!|
After lunch, Joe and the kids finished loading the car. We all hugged goodbye! After hugging Adelae for a third time, Nina walked back into the house. She didn't stay to wave goodbye to their car. I didn't blame her! It was too hard. Once Joe and the kids were gone, Teddy joined Nina to play some Xbox before we left. I packed a few final bags and brought them downstairs where Todd loaded them in the car. I stood in front of the house, staring at the looming dark clouds...rain was coming our way. I stood there, watching Todd load the final bags into our car. Secretly, I had hoped all day that he would suggest us staying for another day or two. As he walked fast me, I stopped him and asked what he thought about staying overnight and leaving the following day after dinner. To my relief, he thought it was a great idea. We told the kids and my in-laws and everyone was delighted!!!
|Nina wearing Nana's glasses :)|