Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Easter - And Then Some

Ah, it's been a weird week.

First to my heartbreak. My baby, my Jon, has decided to move in with his girlfriend. They are renting a house way out south of here. I'm not disappointed in his choice of girlfriends, not by any means. Gloria is a sweetheart, and I think she's good for him. They've been together nearly two and a half years.

It's just that he's not suppose to grow up. He's 24 now, but I still see him as my little guy in his baseball uniform, picking fly balls out of the air at second. That kid couldn't hit for crap, but when it came to fly balls. We used to call his glove 'Hoover.' He used to suck them up just like a vacuum cleaner sucking up dirt. It just seems to me that my boys should never grow up.

At least I know I'll have the other two for two to three years. Okay, I'll have Becki home as long as she's going to school Downtown. Ed has one more semester at UCLA, then it's off to a four year college. He's hoping to follow some of his friends to that school where they had the shooting last year. That in itself should scare me, except that the likelihood of that happening again is nil. At least I hope so. I don't want to see that happen anywhere ever again. Okay, so I'm off topic.

So we had two Easter dinners and a few surprise guests. Bill's cousins moved home from Arizona. I should explain that because seriously, we are sick about this. About four years ago Bill's other cousins decided to move. They talked the others into moving with them. They were older and neither are very intelligent. When they moved, I planned a dinner for them so we could say goodbye. At that point, I don't know what we were expecting. Maybe that all these people would live happily ever after with each other. I guess that's kind of silly considering the one cousin is extremely hard to deal with. Or maybe because she is, we were happy to see her out of our hair. I'll leave this here just because it doesn't take any imagination how their move ended. Only that it took them three and a half years to make their way home. We planned several times how we would go 'rescue' them, but was never able to afford any type of action. So, they're back in our hair, but at least we know they're safe.

So anyway, we had two Easter dinners. The first happened Easter Sunday. We invited our cousins to join us at a local restaurant so we could welcome them home. They arrived on Holy Monday. (The day after Palm Sunday.) It was kind of a come uppance that I didn't enjoy much. Considering both are in their seventies, one can only imagine what four years has done to them. When they left they were capable of doing almost anything. When they returned, he was using a walker and she had a cast on her wrist. Both of their mental faculties had slipped a lot in those years. At once I'm relieved they're here, and I'm angry with myself for not doing something to stop their leaving to begin with. Not that either one would have listened to me to begin with.

So knowing that they would join us, my kids came to me with requests. "Can Chris come?" Becki and Chris have been dating nearly a full year. I don't expect to see her unless he's by her side. So, sure. I expected him. "What about Gloria?" Sure. Only Gloria was working and couldn't come. The next request came from Ed. "Ah, Amanda just called. She's not doing anything Easter. Would you mind?" After learning that she was by herself after losing her Mom earlier this year, I couldn't say no. (I learned later that her Mom died because she DIDN'T HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE.) Next Jon gets a call. Ivan, his friend from the Navy, is finally home. "Ah, Mom," Jon said, "Ivan's parents are in Mexico. Can he and Daisy (his sister) come?" Needless to say we had a crowd. We also had a good time.

I was so happy to see Ivan. When he returned on his first leave he brought me a newspaper that was published aboard the first ship he served on. I couldn't believe how thoughtful that was. And so cool. This time he brought me two t-shirts and a hat. The hat came from his last ship, and there was one shirt from either ship. I'm happy to say he's done. No more Navy. When he left I was confident he'd be safe until he explained policy to me. He was a cook, and cooks are needed everywhere and in every theater of operation, particularly Iraq and Afghanistan. "Either you volunteer," he said, "Or you're volun-told." In other words if they decided that he should serve in either country, he would.

So who am I to pass up an opportunity to cook? I told everyone that since I didn't get to cook dinner, be here this past Sunday. I figured it would it be the seven of us: Bill and I, Ed, Jon and Gloria, and Becki and Chris. Then Becki called home that day, "Hey, Mom, can Jen and Superbaby come to dinner?" Well, you know the answer to that one. We finally sat down. We were eating. In walked Eric and Ivan. They didn't ask and I didn't say no. They picked up plates and served themselves.

I think this is God's way of telling me not to isolate myself, which is something I have a tendency to do. I'm better off for having those I care about the most around me, and a few others besides. The company last night was actually better than the food.

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