For any of my FB friends, this is the longer version:
JUST got back into town! Taylor has been dreading her birthday–technically on Wednesday, because Archie and I would plan for MONTHS how to celebrate her. Last year we took her camping and to Put-in Island (sp?). This year, she said she didn’t want anything or go anywhere. Hmph. Not cool when you’re the mom that wants to celebrate her life.
Grief Share speaks of doing what you have always done but realizing that it is going to be different. But what happens it you just can’t face/are tired of everything always being different? You just want something that feels familiar. You just want to feel…normal (whatever that is)?
Gary (stepdad) asked if the next time we went to Chicago, he and Carol (family by choice-spectacular wife of Gary, who he married after my mom went home, three years before Archie) could tag along, because Carol hadn’t been since high school. That made everything different in Taylor’s eyes. “Mom, we can go to Chicago and show Carol around.” YEAH!!! So we did!
We had an amazing time celebrating her 22 birthday. We did the Big Bus Tour, hopped off a couple of times, got her fav Chicago dog, cheesy fries and, of course, coffee. Mostly we took scads of pic of Chicago and woke up early enough to enjoy Michigan Ave before the stores opened and the people of Chicago got out of bed (coffee in hand)–but let’s save that for tomorrow. What can I say? She’s a cheap date, like Arch used to say I was/am. It is not about what we buy, it’s about what we do while being together . I don’t deserve this kid. She’s wise beyond her years. I think she’s now 22 going on 30.
We did a hop on hop off tour for her 16th birthday, so it was truely “doing what you’ve previously done.” This was a different company, so a variying route, and we had the opportunity to see different park areas than previous. She was often quiet, taking in the sights, contemplating her new reality, and enjoying the company she was with.
At then end, we raced back to the former library for Carol to see the Tiffany glass domes at the Cultural Center, but, alas, they had closed early. To rectify the situation just a smidge (Carol did not really care) we did visit the lower level of Macy’s/Marshall Fields for the stained glass museum display. Then to the hotel. What a full, amazing day, that was similar, but different. I think we’d score an “A” if we were being graded in Grief Share.
I DID NOT cry my way through, like I did when I swept her off to celebrate her graduation from college, so there’s progress. We spoke of Archie often, but the more we visit now, the more our reality moves forward, if that makes any sense. It will be very different when we do go places/visit areas that we never went as a family of three, because there will not be the memories of,”Wow, Dad will never again see___. That changed. Dad missed it.”
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
God was there. He protected and only brought good memories. THAT was the BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT ever!
Until tomorrow: Blessings!