Every summer I try to make the trip across country to visit my hometown, Spokane Washington. You can say it is what I look forward to most throughout the year. It is a place where Sam can run wild outside, using every ounce of energy, until he finally passes out. It is the one time where I feel happy when I haven't see him for a few hours. THAT is when I know he is having the time of his life, caught up in make believe, filthy pond water, and trekking through the woods without any shoes on. When the day has come to an end, dinner has already been served, my sweet Samuel is still out there, by himself, completely oblivious that all his cousins have already gone inside. To see him in such a state of pure happiness is why I look forward to going to Spokane more than anything in the world.
This summer however, was not as magical as usual. Just a couple of days before my sisters and I were to arrive, my mother was dealing with excruciating pain which resulted in a trip to the ER. The doctors weren't quite sure what was wrong, but talk of a tumor was mentioned. After we had all arrived, it was decided she would need surgery, and the recovery would be at least 6 weeks. (Thankfully it was not a tumor.) My sisters and I would take turns visiting her, bringing "get well" cards from the grand kids, massaging her feet, and helping her on short walks around the hospital floor. It broke her heart to not see her grandchildren. She so desperately wanted to be home with them. Even though she wasn't quite her energetic self, there was a peace once she did finally come home.
My father had been diagnosed with cancer just a few months prior, and up until we had all arrived he was feeling great. It seemed that the pain, and side effects kicked in once we were all there. It was difficult to see him in agony. Despite his efforts, my dad just wasn't himself. He kept quiet and alone more than usual, and was exhausted through out the day, since he wasn't sleeping at night.
As soon as the kids would all be in bed, our nights were quiet. Typically we would be baking, and playing liver pool rummy. This time we would sit outside on the back patio and just talk. It had seemed that life was tender, and delicate. It was difficult to see both our parents in such an insufferable state. I seemed to cry every night, and through the walls could hear the same despair from one of my other sisters. Life was shakey and we couldn't quite get it together.
Even though our hearts seemed heavy, we were able to have some wonderful days together as a whole family. Our time together was short so what we did have seemed more significant than usual.
|McDonald's Break in Missoula Montana|
|Cousin's outdoor trading post. I paid 25 cents for 2 rocks and a weed. A steal.|
|Sam playing my own childhood favorite games.|
A fort, a stick, and cousins. Nothing better.
|A rare sight indeed. Sam never falls asleep anywhere but his bed.|
|Exhausted from his day outside|
|Golf cart rides with Papa is always a favorite amongst the grand kids.|
|Sunday morning German Pancakes. An "explosion" of giddiness|
This summer was exceptionally hot, so he boat was a great way to escape the heat.
|Once again, passed out.|
|We were able to get in one Girls Night. Sadly, Emily and Abby had already gone home.|
Green Bluff is one of our summer time musts. This years heat made the harvest season shorter than normal, but we still managed to pick a substantial amount of cherries. Sam was gracious enough to taste them for us to see if they were any good.
We were able to get family pictures together. Unfortunately, the majority of us got the flu (on top of everything else) and Sam was dealing with it during our photo shoot. He was so sweet to cake on a fake smile, but he just wasn't himself. Thankfully Sophie had enough smiles for the rest of us.
Although this summer was full of sickness, crying, sadness and pain, it will be one summer I treasure more than many others. Family is everything. I am incredibly grateful to know that I will be with my Family for eternity.(Since it is now February, when I am actually getting around to writing this post, my father is still fighting his cancer but is doing wonderful. He no longer is dealing with this type of pain, and my mom is her active self, but is not too happy about the large scar on her stomach:) Her surgery was a blessing in the long run .Although not great timing, her abdominal pain, and nausea she had been dealing with for quite some time has finally been fixed and she can concentrate fully on my father.)