Ups and Downs

Sunday morning began with a kiss on the cheek from Maria as I lay in bad trying to avoid the sun peeking through the blinds.  It only got better from there with Mario jumping on me five minutes later and smothering me with kisses.  Jon came up from downstairs and goofed around with me and the kids. We all laughed.  Life is good. 

So why do I still feel catch myself feeling cruddy?  I assumed, somehow naively, that I would bounce back from my grandma’s death and be back to normal after the funeral.  Grandma would have wanted that.  But it’s not worked out that way.  Rather, I am having really tough moments along with just feeling plain crummy at times.  I guess this is my grief process; I just wish it would hurry on up!  But that is typical me – always ready to move on and start the next thing.  Maybe Grandma is trying to teach me a lesson even still – slow down, sweet grand-daughter. 

M&M at age 4 and 2 in the strollerAnd indeed, Sunday was  wonderful day.” The kids and I took a stroller ride in the morning to Stauf’s.  Maria still gets in the stroller like she is two years old but that is ok with me.  The stroller is like other people’s cars.  I don’t like to drive anywhere around the neighborhood so the stroller is our mode of transportation.  And when we want to get somewhere fast, it is easier for me to load them up and run there then it is to pull the car out, buckle in, and find a parking spot.  Jon surprised us at Stauf’s and we ate breakfast together.  A simple act and very enjoyable on a Sunday morning.   

After Stauf’s, we got haircuts and went to the park.  It was beginning to get warm out by that time so we stayed at the park for a while climbing up the slides (yes, we do things backwards) and swinging.  Maria and Mario love when I do the “underdog” swing where I hold onto the metal chains of the swing and run underneath it to give an even bigger push.  They love it.  Pure daredevils.  Maria is finally getting the hang of using her feet to swing herself but still hates to have to do it. 

My tree climberAfter the park, we went to the second-hand bookstore to look for books.  We found some that looked promising about a beaver and another about horses.  Mario found some Dr. Seuss, and we read four of them before we headed out.  I take every opportunity I get to read to him since he usually only wants to play on the computer. 

When we got home, we began work in the yard.  Maria tried to find a place to hang our chimes and I gathered up dead leaves and branches.  Mario sat inside and played on the computer.  He is a fanatic.  He spends hours playing on the Wild Kratts website trying to win the cheetah game.  It is ridiculous the perseverance he has to win that game.  Maria laid on the deck while I cut the ornamental grass and talked to me about the flowers we should plant around the house.  She also found some baby buds starting to bloom.  I love times like those with my daughter.

My HikerWe eventually got Mario away from the computer and outside.  He kicked the soccer ball while Maria tried to perfect her cartwheels.  My girl does not have natural athletic ability but she puts her heart and soul into it.  Mario, on the other hand, has much natural athletic ability, but gets completely upset if he can’t master a move right away.  Jon worked on putting in the screens to our windows.  Jon’s parents arrived for the OSU game at 3, and Patty helped us drain all of the beer leftover from winter parties that had been sitting on the deck for months.  She should be sainted.  The house smelled like a brewery the rest of the day. 

We watched some of the game in between windows and yard work.  The Buckeyes lost.  But we had Ray Ray’s to cheer us up.  Nothin’ like some brisket and ribs to brighten up your day.  We sat around the dining room table listening to Maria rat out Jon for comments he made about Maria’s friends.  Little does Maria know that she is very much like her father and has his same sarcasm and wit.  When Jon dishes it out, she dishes it right back.  Patty and I laughed so hard at some of her retorts to Jon’s comments.  The two of them could put on a show together.  After dinner, we finished up the yard work, and called it a day.  It was so nice to have Patty and Joe with us for the afternoon just hanging out and chatting and watching the kids.  The kids love having their grandparents around them; Mario tries to usurp a lot of their time because he begs for them to watch his every move. 

Mario and I took a walk after Patty and Joe left.  On the walk back home, it grew darker but it was still pleasant outside (upper 60’s).  We could hear the birds chirping and kids playing outside.  I felt alive on the one hand but also still so sad about the loss of Grandma.  I took a deep breath and exhaled and just let my emotions run through me.  I guess there is nothing more to do but let it process… and remember all of the wonderful gifts around me.

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