Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Calm Before The Storm...

My sister-in-Law, my hubby's oldest sister, is dying. Of course, we're all dying...we're all one day closer to death...but her expiration date is coming up faster than ours. She's enduring her third bout of breast cancer and it has metastasized. From what I have read (and/or heard her physicians say,) she has up to a few months left (I think that's an optimistic number.) I know so many people who have had cancer, who currently have it or have lost loved ones to one dreadful type of it or another. Each time I realized that someone I know and love is affected by it, I want to do what I can to make life easier for them.

I've been really close to my SIL throughout the years. She had a daughter the year before I had my first daughter. She had a few sons and then years later, had another daughter. I did the same kind of thing...had girls and then years later, had some more kiddos (boys.) We've been close. I will really miss her. So I've been going to see her once a week (at her home to cook/hang out) or to her hospital if she's there (and sit with hr.) for the last six weeks or so. She has ascites (fluid in her abdomen that fills it up...consisting of malignant breast cancer cells) and recently, tumor loops in her intestines (obstruction.) Did I mention that I'm going to really miss her? My boys and I took a trip a couple years ago to Hot Springs Arkansas and then on to Memphis Tennessee and we invited her to come along. It was a great time and we drove there/back and did touristy stuff. I had never gone with a family member on a trip like that before and it was a pretty memorable time. We had always hoped to do it again. She's always wanted to have an RV and go on a trip. A couple of weeks ago, I told her that at some point, if she wants to go, I will take the grab the kids out of school and we will take a trip! Just say the word and we'll rent one and go wherever she wants to go!

Anyway, she was discharged from the hospital from her last stay on Saturday night and I had planned on going to sit with her at the hospital on Sunday. Since her daughter's bridal shower was on Sunday, I assumed she was going to go. Since I try to avoid large gatherings (I prefer smaller groups,) I decided to skip the shower and just take a day trip with my boys to Galveston. So, we packed up a picnic lunch, sand toys and took off for the day. I wanted to NOT think, not be sad, and to laugh and enjoy the day.

We ate lunch AND dessert at a huge restaurant (the kid's dessert was a bowl of ice cream with different toppings that they could create a sundae themselves.) Then we rented a bicycle and drove all around the sidewalks and side roads. We even stopped at a park and played on the swings and slides. We then went to Rainforest Café and rode the little boat ride inside the restaurant (with robotic animals and noises creating a great atmosphere for kiddos.) Finally, we found a place alongside the seawall, grabbed our toys, chair, towels and camera and hung out for hours. We fed seagulls at the back of the ferry, watched dolphins swim (fins above the water) and even saw one jump...several times...that's a first for me while traveling to the other side of the island! We practiced my son's vocabulary (homework from school) on the way to as well as on the way back from there and enjoyed a great day! I can't remember how long it's been since I've laughed SO much and had such a great time with the kids. I let my son drive and control the brake and the brake didn't stop very well...which caused a lot of laughter for the good and bad scares related to that. He wanted to do it all day.

Here are some pictures from our day -

My 'lil one sat in the 'basket' and we sat on the seats behind him. So much fun!

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When I asked them to gather up the beach toys (and we have lots of buckets, shovels, stuff to make sand castles etc.,) I realized that these are what they consider 'sand' toys! I said...why not...and helped load them into the car trunk!

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My 'lil one was running around and when I took this pic, he was smiling at me and kinda facing me. I immediately thought of one of those songs from Bugs Bunny shows a long time ago...'Hello my baby, hello my darling...' Was it a dancing frog? I have no idea but I thought his smile was adorable!

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I wanted them to pose for at least one picture and asked them to come sit on a sand pile. My bigger boy jumped down to that spot and I said 'Stop - don't move! Smile!'

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I always keep an extra set of clothes in my trunk just for occasions like this...they loved getting dirty and sandy! We had everything we needed! I love their faces of happiness!

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My youngest couldn't see over the ferry gate at the front so I held him on my back the whole time. I didn't even think about make-up on this day but if I had put some on, I probably would have sweated it all off before this picture was taken anyway. And, of course, I'm wearing my favorite shirt.

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