In the end...sometimes we start back at the beginning...
Here it is. October 1st. Where everything we knew. Everything we held sacred. And everything we took for granted began to unravel. Only, we didn't know it yet. In that ignorance, we found bliss, and I am thankful for the two weeks or so that we shared up until October 19th.
My Dad and Vi made it into town today from Baltimore. Just as they have every October for many years. We always looked forward to their visits, and, of course, we still do. Last October was no different. Kim detailed the house, although Dad and Vi are not the kind of people you need to do that for - you just want to do that for. Then, she quizzed me, no, gave me the third degree on what to make them for dinner that first night. I knew Kimmy knew the answer, she just liked to run it all by me, building up to it. Pasta? Grilled London broil (does 'London' get capitalized if it is the name of a meat?)...chicken piccata...yes, chicken piccata, my favorite, Kim knew and she was so confident in her ability to make this special every time without exception.
These guys always like to spoil us. They head to Costco before coming out to the house and fill our fridge. Parmesan cheese. Olives. Pickles (the bambini's favorite!). Limes. Apples. And, Corona!! Kim would use that Parm every day, not wasting one small, grated piece of that large wedge!
She cooked incredibly last year. And we did a ton of sight seeing! Desert Museum. Tohono Chul. La Encantada Mall. Swimming at the Comfort Suites Inn. Enjoying Viro's and Zona 78. The only sign, the only hiccup, was the day we were headed down to their hotel to swim...Kim began massaging her lower rib cage and wincing. "What's wrong Kimmy?" "Ahhh. Spasm. Pull over and I'll walk it off." Walk it off? Kim was more Clint Eastwood during her final two months, battling pain and fear!! So I pulled off of Golf Links, making a right onto Bonanza, facing the Catalina Mountains, where we had hiked so many times, picnicked, played in the snow, and I ran, literally ran, to her door to help her out onto the sidewalk, holding her, arm in arm and slowly walking her. Kim, catching her breath "OK."..."I'm OK now." And we spent the afternoon swimming and then ate dinner at Zona 78...
HOW did she do it??
The bambini drew pictures to take to the airport today. We were silent as we drove, just choosing to listen to the music that Cody chose from his phone for us to hear. These guys surprised me, getting up early. Cleaning their rooms. Cleaning the sports room. Putting away the clean wash. Emptying the dishwasher. They are so special, and I know I'd be lost without them.
They've added another row of couches at the terminal, to better view the t.v. that shows you passengers arriving. We love that t.v. Autumn noticed that airport employees stay far to the side, so you never see their faces. Many, unassuming passengers, do 'funny' things. Today, a lady was yawning directly into the camera. I fell asleep. I can do that anywhere, anytime. Catch my 20 minute power nap. A few years ago, when the bambini were much younger and more sheltered, I fell asleep and my phone rang - it was Kim, calling me from work, to see if they had arrived yet - she was a little horrified that I had nodded off "Who's watching the kids??", and probably a little embarrassed that I had fell asleep in such a public place!
I chose to make the marinara today. I love the piccata, but did not feel confident that I could pull it off. So I made meatballs instead.
To end our night, we watched 'Mr and Mrs Smith', one of Kim's favorites, starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. There is a scene, towards the end, where they are fighting for their lives, in a department store. In the midst of battle, they hop on an elevator to get to the next floor and they calmly ride it, like nothing else is going on. I told the bambini - 'you know what I would do when your Mama and I were alone like that in an elevator?' "What? What?" they wanted to know. "Kiss her!" "Really?" Autumn demanded. "Yes, I had to take advantage of being alone with her!"
I guess that was my big message to the bambini - take advantage of what we have. Today. We spent some time by the nitcho tonight, watching the clouds overhead. The warm glow of the candles illuminating St. Francis was very comforting...