Little flat tonight - but, it was a good day, overall - beginning at San Xavier.
Today was the final day celebrating the feast day of San Xavier, patron saint of the Mission. There were about 50 Native American's in procession, praying and singing in their native tongue, led by Fr Bill, who celebrated Mass this morning. It was a full house and I was the palest one there. Our friends, Toni and Ivan, who generally take care of the Mission (and keep Kim's photo dusted for me) were there to sing and deliver communion.
Whenever I'm at Mass there, our wedding constantly plays in the background...I love the part, where one of the stray reservation dogs sauntered into the church and Fr Michael whispered to Kim and I "Don't worry, he's Catholic".
This pup followed the procession right inside, pausing just inside the doorway so I could scratch her behind the ears...reminding me of that day.
I lit candles for Kim and a friend after Mass - it is always so peaceful in the little Mary chapel.
On the way to work, I had to deliver some books to Manza Elementary. I'd never been there before and the GPS on my phone was guiding me. I was pretty excited to find that it was about a block away from my favorite Mexican bakery and restaurant, El Rio. I picked up empanadas for my team ( mostly pumpkin, my favorite) and some tortillas that were still warm! Andrea had introduced me to this place about two years ago - they have the best chile rellenos and cabuelatas soup!
On any given school day, around 3:00 P.M., I can expect a text from Autumn, letting me know she is out of school. Usually something simple, like "Hey Dad". And I'll usually respond with "Hi Honey, how was ur day?"....today, I anticipated the text, so when the phone rang, playing Autumn's special ring tone "50 Ways to Lie" by Train, it surprised me - I picked up, hoping everything was ok.
"Hi Dad. How is your day goin?" Always thinking of me first. "Great, You? Everything OK?"
"YEH! I got a 97% on my math benchmark test and an A+ on my science test!!" I was moved. Math and Science do not come easy for Autumn. She has worked so hard (and Mrs. Oliveira, her math teacher and Mr. Wauer, her science teacher are extraordinary!) and put in extra time after school with her teachers to do better. Her hard work has paid off.
I know I always say how she has become a 'Lil Kim', taking care of the boys, making them breakfast, calling me with updates and always wanting to know how my day is going. She is incredibly in tune with us. Lately, I've noticed a little more Kim coming out in how she has begun to add little touches throughout the house. Like stacking 3 extra rolls of TP in a pyramid on the toilet. Or, placing Renuzit Aroma thingies in the livingroom and bedrooms (she learned about these from Angie, when we would help her grocery shop following her knee surgery). Autumn likes the vanilla scented ones - Kim's favorite scent.
And, I got a great email...
Hi Mr. Conca,
I hope you are well! I just wanted to let you know that Autumn got a 97 on her math benchmark! I am so proud of her! And I am sure you hear this a lot but I just wanted to tell you how much I love having Autumn in class - she is such a special young lady - I just adore her!
Have a wonderful day!
Of course, I asked Mrs. Oliveira to call me Dave, because whenever someone calls me 'Mr. Conca', I immediately look around for my Dad! So nice to receive emails like this...that Autumn!
Tonight, we went to a special dinner for Tonio's Jr. Optimist Club at the school. I almost didn't go, since I usually work Tuesday nights. Lupe immediately volunteered to take him and Autumn, since she takes care of them every Tuesday and Monsi is in the club with Tonio. At the time, Tonio smiled and said, 'That's fine Dad.' Done deal. Except, I found out later, that there were some tears, as Tonio really wanted me to go, but understood that I had to work and didn't want to inconvenience me. I was able to switch my schedule, with one of my assistant managers, Lisa. Tonio was beyond happy, beaming the entire evening.
Tonio and Autumn with Ashley Curtis, a teacher at Cottonwood who runs the program. Aut was in it last year and really flourished - she gets to participate some this year, too. Tonio's creativity has really grown in this club! He and Monsi enjoy the photography lessons that they are getting and will be participating in several community service projects.
We capped off a nice dinner with 'therapy' time at Lupe and Manny's! The kids play Minecraft on Xbox - they are so good at this game and would play it from waking to sleeping if we let them!
I always loved Kim's hair. She wore it in varying lengths and styles over the 33 years I was blessed to have known her. The above shot is one of my favorite styles.
Autumn's Baptism. What a wonderful day that was!
The Baltimore Zoo. I think I dedicated an entire post to all of the zoo's we visited together over the years. The Baltimore Zoo was one of our favorites. We took Cody there with Nana and Pop - he loved it. The architecture in the original sections, built in 1876, is incredible.
Always loving a bambino!!
So thankful for all of the memories...and for the support we have, as we look to close out this year. 26 days to go...