I took care of myself yesterday. I exercised in the afternoon, walked in the evening and read at night. I walked three laps around the park in order to clear my head from the afternoon onslaught of crying and screams from hell-bound ruffians, I mean, my blessed little children. Emotional survival is such a process until the very exciting comes along. And the exciting has come along.
One year ago ’twas Easter. We abandoned our plans and our menu to try to make it work in San Francisco. Peter had been there so long already. By the generosity of the Mark Hopkins hotel company (Intercontinental, I think), we were going to stay for free in a fancy hotel for Easter.
Kyle and the kids came. That week the kids decorated baskets with Grandma and everything came together.
I bought delightful little goodies at Williams-Sonoma combining retail therapy with indulgent motherhood. It all felt good.
It is difficult to stay in one room with a bathroom from the 30’s with five bodies, three of which move a lot. It was cramped, but we would be positive! This was such a gift after all. The kids went to bed. Kyle and I stayed in hallway waiting for them to fall asleep. We filled the baskets and went to bed. We thought, surely in a place like this, nothing will happen to those baskets.
Naive little out-of-town small town country folk. The kids woke and the baskets were gone. I went crying to the hotel management and she apologized, sent security to search the halls and came to our room with a basket filled with cookies, candy and teddy bears. They found the kids’ baskets and we made quick work to tell them the Easter bunny had gotten confused because we were in a hotel. Their ages made this possible.
Easter mass at St. Dominic’s was beautiful. We sat in the choir loft and saw such a view of that grand Church. As positive as I tried to be, I felt heart-broken. For whatever we did with the kids to make the day feel special and like Easter, it was incomplete. Peter was not with us. I cannot remember the rest of the day. I felt tired of trying, tired of pretending we could make this day anything other than a spiritual reference in our heart to the meaning of it all.
I would not be caught off guard again. I made plans for every holiday and every birthday should any of the rest of them take place when we were in the hospital. When did we return? Lots of times. But around the holidays?
Shortly before Miriam’s birthday party (I missed the party but we were together on her birthday). All Souls’ Day (November 2 = home for Halloween). The day after Thanksgiving. The week before Christmas (returned home on the 23rd). The first half of Holy Week.
We went Regina’s birthday in San Francisco. The lesson came home to me that day. The imperfect moments become perfectly imperfect, when we are all together. It does not matter that it is cramped, or undecorated, or improvised, so long as we are together. We are connected to Celeste by the invisible string. Tomorrow is Easter…and we are all together!