Saturdays usually brought us to a local movie chain that serves food. D's energy level could usually handle a movie or a meal. This theater gave us both. Following a late afternoon show, we'd go home and D would catch up on a TV series he was watching on NetFlix. (Boston Legal, Mad Men and Army Wives were favorites.)
Sundays found us the the back row aisle seat of church so D could maneuver in and out easily with his walker. We went to Sunday School where a sweet man always had Post-It notes with our names on them stuck to the two chairs nearest the door. After that, we always went for brunch at a restaurant in a cute little town near us where D worked. They, too, saved the booth nearest the door so D would not have to travel as far with his walker. After a great meal, we'd take a tour of the town and look at all the great restored bungalows. It was our dream to buy one and fix it up. It honestly never occurred to me that would not happen. Sunday afternoons were my time for a delicious nap, with D fussing that I was wasting the weekend. I was gone teaching during the week, so he spent quite a bit of time home alone. On the weekends I think he just wanted me close by all the time.
The routine was very soothing to him as his cancer ramped up. I tried to replicate that journey last night: getting food to go from that same Mexican food restaurant and grabbing a magazine from Barnes. (Alas: no Tamburro in sight.) It made me remember when Married Daughter was about 3 and her dad used to share a snack with her. Believe it or not, it was smoked oysters on toothpicks with crackers. I remember she asked for them one time when he was not home. When she tried one, she seemed visibly disappointed that, "They don't taste the same without dad eating them with me." I could say the same about my travel last night: just not the same. Obviously.
I have found that more and more of my spare time is being spent in my classroom after school and on weekends. I'm in a new grade, so it is somewhat like a new job in many ways: quite a learning curve. There is just no reason to hurry home for the first time in my life: no husband or children waiting or needing something. So, my second grade classroom and students are the recipients of more attention than usual. I'm pretty sure this ramped up classroom caring will result in many of them getting early admission to Harvard this spring.
Kidding. They are totally Princeton types.
So, I'm still looking for balance in life. And I continue to take the advice of Married Daughter: "Mom, you say "yes" to anything anyone asks you to do." Those "yeses" have led me places I've never been before; many a little odd.
And saying "yes" to life? Young Son is still cycling across America and has covered over 850 miles from Austin, Texas to Grant, New Mexico. He updates with location and photos often from his iPhone onto Facebook. I "swiped" these pictures from his Facebook for my blog. He'd be impressed with my high-techness.
And here is Young Son wearing one of D's cycling jerseys in front of a field of sunflowers in New Mexico. Triumphant and saying "yes" to life.
Godspeed, Chris. You are a great companion on this road of life.