one step forward...two steps back. it's the story of my life and likely your life too. so i don't think i'm being too bold to state that it's just life. push and pull, ebb and flow, rise and fall, hot and cold, progression and transgression...they are always in play. we wax and we wane just like the sun and the moon.
the past week had more valleys than peaks, but it's the peaks that keep my head above water. it's the pinnacles i choose to remember, and it's always a choice even when it's not. this past weekend had plenty of bright spots despite the fact it rained like a sieve for days (and nights) on end. when the sun finally made an appearance late one afternoon, it's fluorescent presence felt like an interrogation instead of a reprieve.
i was looking forward to friday evening all week long, and the party i had planned for kathy's gals sort of kept me sane and even smiling throughout. the timing had more to do with rose's westward migration than the eighth anniversary of my mother's death, but then i am a firm believer in fate versus coincidence. how else am i to explain that the first song to cue up on pandora once we gathered was september? and it wasn't even the earth wind & fire station. i expect these little winks and nods and so they no longer give me the chills. no, they keep me warm. two of my mom's high school friends came from an event celebrating their 50 year reunion. another turn of fate? they came with old photos and stories and the peace that comes from knowing that my mom was here and there in spirit. you know...gone, but not forgotten. missed. i'm going to miss rose too, but i'm excited for her and hoping to make it to sedona for a visit while she's there.
the rest of the family sauntered in. mike and lily from a dinner date and ted from hanging out with friends and we all visited. the kids love all these ladies and know how important they are to me. they've watched first teddy and then lily grow up. i think it's important for my two, especially lily, to see and experience positive friendships full of support and honesty and inclusion. young women need models of healthy relationships in order to know to set their own bars high, to have the sense to avoid toxic people, and to understand that sometimes your most cherished friends can be the people you may not have expected.
i was up by 8 o'clock saturday, and ted was already out for a run in the rain. it was a quiet morning of cat cuddles, coffee, books and a movie before we went our separate ways. mike joined a group of old friends to watch the badgers, i took lily to a birthday party at the roller rink and left ted home to watch the games with friends and an extra large pizza, and then i went to jess's to admire her recent and beautiful home renovations. i think we were all quite content.
sunday morning ted was once again the first one up and out. this time to cheer on his cross country coach who was running the milwaukee marathon in the rain (still). then he met up with his aunt and uncle to golf the boggy course. they are fanatics. lily's soft ball was cancelled due to conditions so she did homework and then science experiments for fun. we all gathered for sunday dinner and i served an old favorite from our childhood, beef stroganoff. it is known as nanny's noodles now and i make it the same way my mom used to: with cream of mushroom soup (gasp) and sour cream. my brother even tried to question my use of fresh garlic in the sauce and fresh parsley on top because that's not the way mom made it. i served it with buttered corn and cottage cheese just like mom did though so he was happy. we toasted her in heaven and also my brother's hole in one on the course that day. celebrate everything. it's definitely one of my mottos.
we all had off monday for rosh hashana. we celebrated the new year shopping for new clothes since we aren't jewish. grandma and grandpa took lily and i took teddy. they both had much success and are wearing their new outfits despite the fact that summer has returned to our neck of the woods. we all met for a quick lunch. it was sure nice to spend some time together on our day off.
at the end of the day, mike perfectly grilled steaks and we caught up on designated survivor, a family fave this season, before turning in for the night. but not before i had to edit one child's paper at the tail-end of the weekend and deadline. we have a procrastinator on our hands.
i plan to keep my head above water in the week ahead and to keep my eye out and heart open for everyday's joy moments because they're here.