This past Monday Courtney, Brandon and I came home from our trip to California. 11 days out of the house, away from the daily stresses and routines that were really beginning to create more stress in our lives. This trip was not without it's rough spots. I've seen an anger in Brandon that concerns me - especially since he voiced his opinion to me a few times how angry he was that I did not call him IMMEDIATELY upon Mike's death. I wonder whether this anger will dissipate or whether it will present itself in other ways. But despite those rough spots, I believe we all enjoyed our time away.
Even though we were in California, and our days were filled entirely each and very day - there were more moments than I anticipated of feeling Mike's absence and missing him SO much.
I had been there a few times before, but he had never been, and I enjoyed each and every moment watching him revert back to his childhood and enjoy all that was around him. My mind immediately went to the three times we had taken Courtney and Brandon there and how excited he was at seeing the kid's reaction to the spectacle around them. We saw Cirque Du Soleil - which Mike and I had taken the kids to together. Although the shows were different, I remembered how much he loved the acrobats and clowns. Alcatraz would have been right up his ally and listening to Brandon complain about going to see "the stupid Redwoods" I heard Mike's voice saying the same thing. I was very upset with Brandon that day because he gave me such a hard time about going to Muir Woods to witness the beauty of nature, but I guess it was because I knew I would have had an equally difficult time with Mike. The trees were beautiful, but not a place he would have thoroughly enjoyed being.
Seeing all the families walking along Pier 39 just brought a deeper sadness over me, but I did my best to enjoy the moment with the kids, not knowing when the next time would be that we would be together like this.
We arrived home at 2:40 a.m. on Saturday to find that my BIL had spent a week at our house while we were away, painting and organizing. Four days later and I'm still in somewhat of a shock that he would take the time to come in from PA and work so hard for us. What did we do to deserve anything like that? He wasn't the only one who worked - my brother helped as well as my mom. My sister and older niece conspired from PA - the entire family was involved in this conspiracy spearheaded by my BIL. The kids and I are still trying to find things. He organized so well, we feel like we just moved in.
This Saturday we'll be moving Brandon back into school. His classes start on Monday. Where did the summer go??
I was looking forward to the summer with the kids to talk about and try to heal from the pain of Mike's passing. Instead, Brandon spent most of the summer with his friends and Courtney worked alot. I didn't get to talk to them as much as I would have liked, but I also didn't want to push them any more than necessary. We visited the cemetery again yesterday before Brandon went back to school and we look forward to the day when the headstone will be completed.