My mind went back and forth as I debated about the finishing touches in my guest room. Should I line the dresser or night stand with framed photos of romantic memories of the two of them like I’ve always done or should I leave the space empty with more room to settle in after unpacking? After polishing the desk, I placed a mini album on it, off to one side. At will, he could pick it up and breeze through countless photos of family, mostly of my sister posing with her kids, family members, and friends.
My brother-in-law, Eduardo, spent a week in our home earlier this month marking just shy of a year since my sister passed away. He still lives in their Chicago home and tries hard to cover up his emptiness but his blue eyes portray a river of sadness. He misses her like crazy. I worried that being here with me might cause more grief. She was my sister, in fact, and we bear similarities. Oh how he easily speaks of them too! To my surprise, it turned out to be more positive than negative. I worried for nothing.
The Kids Stepped Up
His visit turned into a family reunion that week. My girls and their families came through, once again, to honor their uncle and our family ties. We assembled in our home and we all gained close to ten pounds cooking together as well as going out to eat!
Eduardo, born in Bari, Italy, came to the USA in his teen years. He loves to cook. I took full advantage of his creative art skills in my kitchen. We lapped up trays of his Bruschetta appetizer as soon as it came out of the oven.
I always ask him to prepare Pasta Fagioli when he visits. This time I bought Italian tomatoes and everyone applauded. One night my daughter planned a dinner party for her co-workers which Ed catered with enough of the chicken and pasta main entrée left over for us the next day. I treasured him by my side at my island chopping, stirring and presenting food with so much love!
It took an Italian marrying into our family to free us up to hug and kiss each other more often. Affectionate little Amy puckered up in no time for her grand uncle and he got the biggest kick out of that! To be like a child, what a goal!
We achieved balance of eating with a hike in Sedona for exercise.
The Painted Desert and the City of Page
I have lived in central Arizona for over 25 years and never traveled to Lake Powell, the popular recreational canyon lake where many hike, fish, swim and kayak. We took a day trip north to the famous attraction that borders on the state of Utah. We chose a boat tour on the Colorado River and explored beautiful rock formations. We inhaled monumental beauty of the Painted Desert, glorious beaches, a marina and a sunset that took our breath away.
What a week to love and enjoy family and soak in beauty all around us! My heart is full.
Family is not an important thing
Michael J. Fox