Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day

We have had a wonderfully busy weekend and so in addition to reflecting on what today truly means, I have also taken the day to relax and rest a bit.  Nick hosted his very first sleepover on Saturday night and he and his friend, Logan, had a blast swimming, play video games, camping out in our basement, going to the park, and attending a nearby church carnival.  Needless to say, Nick (and I) slept well on Sunday evening!  I think both boys are anxiously awaiting their next sleepover.

Today, I slept in a bit and then went to get a pedicure with my mom.  It was so relaxing and much needed!  We also stopped by the cemetery to visit my Dad's grave and my Grandpa and Grandma's grave, as well.  I was afraid we wouldn't be able to get out and visit because we had a few thunderstorms throughout the afternoon and we anticipated that it would be fairly muddy.  We've had several unfortunate muddy visits over the past few years resulting in a lost pair of shoes for Mom and a near miss for my shoes.  We pulled into the cemetery planning to do a drive by to see all of the flags on the graves (the local Boy Scouts put a small American flag on each grave on Memorial Day) and we were pleasantly surprised to see that the ground wasn't too muddy.  In fact, the area where my Dad's grave is now has grass instead of dirt, so it was much more pleasant getting to his grave.  I hadn't been to Dad's grave in about 3 weeks, so it was nice to visit him and chat. I feel better when I go visit him and "talk" to him about what's going on in my life; it helps me cope.
Dad was the most patriotic person I've known, so I know he would appreciate the flag placed on his grave in honor of Memorial Day
I have been thinking a lot about my Dad and missing him terribly.  I still fight the urge to pick up the phone and call him to tell him about what's going on in my life.  I cried a few times today, which is to be expected, but then something pretty amazing happened.  I promised Nick that we would play mini-golf today, but neglected to check the weather forecast.  The thunderstorms definitely caught me off guard and it looked like we wouldn't be able to go after all.  As I started cooking dinner, the sun came out and I told Nick if he was a good helper while I cooked dinner, then we would go play a quick round after we ate.  We finished dinner around 7:30, which was a little late, but I figured it's almost summer break, so staying up a little later tonight wouldn't hurt.

We headed out to a local mini-golf course only to find out they were closed, but I knew of another mini-golf place a bit further away.  We got there around 8:30 and since they closed at 9, we decided to do a quick 9 hole round of mini-golf.  I have so many memories of mini-golfing with my Dad, as it was something we did every summer when I would visit him and we almost always went when he came to visit St. Louis.  In fact, Dad and I have played mini-golf many times at the place Nick and I went tonight.  I mentioned to Nick that Bebaw took me mini-golfing all the time and I was feeling a bit wistful.  As we headed towards the first hole of the course we chose to play on, the strangest thing happened.  I swore I could smell my Dad.  It smelled exactly like my Dad's deodorant (Gillette), which I realize sounds bizarre, but I distinctly remember how he smelled when he wore that deodorant.  In fact, when we were cleaning out my Dad's apartment, I wanted to save the last stick of his deodorant and Matt thought I was insane.  I ended up throwing it away, but a small part of me wanted to keep it.  As we played the first hole, I figured there must have been someone nearby who had the same deodorant as Dad, but I looked and we were alone on the course and no one else was around.  It was the most bizarre, but wonderful thing.  I felt like Dad was there golfing with us and it made me smile.
Nick said that mini-golfing was "amazing" and I'd have to agree.  I love creating these memories with him! 
Before Mom and I went to get pedi's this afternoon, she took me to a nearby Harley Davidson dealer, because they had one of the STL 250 cakes.  I was able to cross another cake off my list!  I think I'm up to 8 or 9 now.
Harley themed cake
I didn't exactly eat the best this weekend, nor have I gone for a run since Saturday, but tomorrow is a new day!

Lastly, I'm grateful to all the men and women who have died for our freedoms and to protect our country and I appreciate each and every person in our armed forces who has served or is currently serving our country today.  

To quote one of my Daddy's favorite songs, which always reminds me of him:

"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me."