I spent the day playing with kids and really enjoying it. Last night Renee Patterson a good friend of my family from Steamboat came into town. She has been living out in Big Lake for the past 6 months as her husband was deployed and her family is living up here. As with most people who come to Alaska and not Anchorage she has avoided town. That being said she came last night to stay and this morning we had a kid party. Her two sons and Finn (Liam had to go to school) were joined by Isla and Lilly Cant. We had blast. We played with trains, balls, swings and rode the dang dang Donkey (Finn’s name for wildly riding on may back like a bronco). We also made a sweet pillow pit for jumping into before moving outside to the luge run. Although I was supervising I felt pretty young at heart. The wildness of it all made me think of some of those Dudley open houses we used to have and the crazy antics of all the kids hanging out in our basement.
Eventually I did have to return to the adult world and wished Renee the best of luck in her return to Virgina in the next couple months. I was able to squeeze in a little ski before shopping at costco (yeah what fun, sarcasm) and getting a birthday gift for Nia. I returned home in time to get the present wrapped, late lunch, get Finn up for the party before Brooke came home. I was so tired by then that when Brooke took Finn off to the party I had 10 minutes before heading off to get Liam I fell asleep at the kitchen table. When I awoke stiff necked ten minutes later I could only wonder how Jim managed to sleep sitting up right which was a frequent site in my youth. I would find him at home on a lunch break for about 40 minutes of which he spent 10 minutes or 20 sound asleep sitting up right at the table. I would always ask why he didn’t just go lay down but he always just said he had to get back to work and off he went refreshed. I dragged myself away with a sore neck and a sleeve half soaked in slobber. I clearly need to work on that ability.
Later in the evening after the birthday party, dinner, a kid movie, and me cleaning I sat down to write something and I decided to read the actual post on my CaringBridge from a year ago. It was quite entertaining. The post was about walking very slowly with Jim in Seattle. I was super weak already and he was clearly concerned about me. I had mused about a time he ran about ten miles with me in Jeans and never complained but the real point was that here he was worrying about his grown son walking, just plain walking in a city park. I wondered if we we ever get the chance again to be in the reverse roll of me wondering if he was safe trying to keep up with me. I don’t think we are there yet. But we have had this equally as weird reversal of position with me checking (really just agreeing and reassuring him) about doctoring. He has really taken to doing my job and I am pretty sure he is making the rest of us look rather callus with his super friendly ways.
What ever the case is the awkward flips in life have given us some whacky roles to play. I sure wish we hadn’t have had all this switching but I know it has given us more time together. Tomorrow Gayle is hopping a plane to Hawaii to see Luke. I can’t really blame her for heading to Hawaii but it is pretty nice here right now. As we headed off to bed we had a long hug and appreciated that even though the reason for all our time together this last year was down right crappy it has been nice to be together. This has to be one of the most common themes throughout the last year. The reconnection with friends and with people we felt were close but we often find ourselves separated from. I haven’t connected with everyone I want to but it is slowly happening. Each and every encounter be it old friends, more recent friends or my parents have all seemed so much richer. Maybe we all realize the wonder of the time. May we always remember and keep these moments without needing cancer to remind us.
Head Up, Heart Strong. I need a cure.