It has been almost a month since I last blogged and a lot has happened in that time. I’m not going to go into long detail of everything I did in those weeks because it was with family – personal and interesting mostly to us. I just want to tell all my siblings, children, grandchildren, and every relative and friend that it was a wonderful time of bittersweet memories I will forever remember.
In February of this year, my Mom passed away in her home in Mesa, Arizona. All five of her children, along with Richards wife, Dianna, Daryl’s wife, Gisele, and Mom’s grand daughter, Heather, returned her ashes for burial in a small cemetery in Western New York where she grew up. It was a sad time of final goodbyes but a happy, nostalgic time of visiting all the places where we lived when we were young. After her burial, twenty five family and friends gathered at the lake house we rented to celebrate Mom’s life through remembrance of her.
My three children live within a few hours of Mom’s final resting place so I spent a few days with each of them. I first flew into Pittsburgh and stayed with my daughter, Karen and her husband, Damon. It was a wonderful time of being together again. They spent one night at the lake house and moved to a motel the next night. Poor Karen came down with a bug overnight and was sick the day of the burial.
While we were all gathered together in Cuba, New York, we drove around town and looked at places of our childhood – the house my Dad built, the homes of Grandparents, our school and hospital where Mom worked as a nurse, our favorite cheese store, and all the parks and fields and woods where we used to play when we were little.
The weather was cold and rainy but we found things to do every day. One day we visited Corning Glass and afterwords ate dinner at a favorite restaurant that featured many meals spiced with maple syrup. The time we spent together was very special. I can put it no other way. When we parted everyone wondered when we would all be together again. Mom was the tie that brought us all together, and things would change as we all went back to our dispersed lives.
After the lake house I spent a week with Jen and Louie in Franklinville, NY. It was a fun time catching up on their lives and seeing all the grandchildren again. Grandchildren grow up so fast that in just a couple years they change from kids to young men and young ladies. One afternoon Louie took me with him to the YMCA where we worked out on the exercise equipment. Afterwards, I got to watch grandaughter Lucy practice gymnastics with her club. She is really getting good at all those flips and balance manoeuvres.
I next spent a few days with my son David and his wife, Lisa. They have three precious little girls all under the age of 5. They are the sweetest things, but full of energy and ready to run circles around their tired Grandpa. One evening I took them out to Cracker Barrel, my favorite restaurant, and the next day we went to the Toy Museum near where they live in Rochester, NY.
After a whirlwind trip to New York, I am now taking it easy in Quartzsite, Arizona. It was wonderful to see and spend time with my kids and grandkids. I love them all very much.