Don't get me wrong, I had a ball spending a week with Rowan and his parents. I have determined that I would need to go back to the gym if I were toting a 2 year old every day. Did you know they are heavy? and they squirm a lot?
I have played Buzz and Woody through all 3 Toy Story movies, provided many cups of "Chama milk" (containing a small amount of Hershey syrup), read stories and gotten in my share of kisses. Rowan also made several trips with me to finish the process of selling my dad's house and disposing of the last of his belongings. He was so good and thanked the realtor and neighbors as he trotted out the door.
Needless to say, it was a bittersweet week. Unlike many of my generation, my parents bought their home the month I was born and lived in it their entire lives. I have always loved that I could still look at the kitchen window and almost see my mom coming across the yard with a pan of green beans for dinner. I could sit in the same chair I had sat in my entire life to eat dinner and sleep in my childhood room. The connection to my childhood always seemed sharper and purer in that little house. For a little while I could go home again.
I've dreaded going back to finalize the sale. I was afraid I'd break down and sob. Yet when I finally stood in the empty house I felt relief. The house has sat for nearly 8 years since my dad moved to a continuing care community. He always intended to finish cleaning it out, and for the first 5 years was there several times a week just puttering. When he no longer could drive the house became expensive storage and was gradually deteriorating inside. It felt sad and lonely and I hated going there.
I understand that it has been purchased by first time home buyers who want to make a home. The house will again hum with life and laughter. That is as it should be and makes me smile. I still have the memories. I even have some new ones of Rowan sticking his toys in a drawer my daughter used to pull herself up on when she was 9 months old. The cycle seems complete.
I find myself missing my dad more and more as the reality sets in. After working in hospice so many years I know about working through grief. I knew this would happen when the numbness wore off (usually about 3 months). The knowledge helps me be patient and give myself permission to grieve. I'm always surprised by the number of people who think grief should be over in a matter of weeks. I will ride the waves of sadness knowing that eventually they will become less.
Now I'm off to the grocery store. Nicole and Patrick are coming over for dinner tonight and I'm making her favorite chicken and noodles. Might even do a peach cobbler if I can find some good peaches. Have a wonderful, relaxing Sunday at your house and thanks for listening.