I hope she liked the flowers
It sure feels weird that so much time has flown by; almost in the blink of an eye, we've gone through 4 years. I got a chance to talk to Aunt Bootsie this past Sunday. I came over to give her some flowers and a small gift. I was so happy she got a chance to go out with Beth, Chris, Harry and the kids. Malin is all over the world, but I know sent her love. I stopped in the Erin to get her a gift card. I pulled up on a sunny afternoon. The weather a lot more refreshing than the last time I was there...the day before my birthday, August 2nd. We had such a nice time. The spot that both of us were last at was wide open, so I pulled in and just sat there for a little bit...smelling the flowers I bought. I sat there just letting sun come directly on me and into the car. I really wasn't in a rush...cause it was all about birthdays, Aunt Bootsie's, Kane's....time with family. I thought about the day and night I was last there. I think I had the seafood combo. I think you had some take on it as well. I almost want to say we both had beers. No one else was there. Part of me wanted to walk back to the table we sat at, but I think that would've been asking too much with a full crowd. It just all went by so fast, that time, those days...a blur. Alas I went to see Aunt Bootsie and we talked and laughed...so much. Of course I got her a gift card to the Erin. I told her about parking in the spot I last physically saw you, hugged you, talked, laughed, gave me my birthday gifts...Sixers and Eagles stuff I will keep forever. Thankfully I still fit in them. She told me she didn't know the Erin was the last time I hugged you. I saw her get a little misty eyed, maybe it was the sun. I told her that when I crossed over MacDade Blvd to park in Acme to get flowers; a huge wave of sadness hit me and held me under. I was paralyzed to the point, I literally could not move. I just wanted someone to talk to, but not really on the phone. Of course I wanted to talk to you, but I just needed someone physcally there. In this day and age of texting/snapping/messenger, the convenience is great; the lack of true human interaction is not. I now remember how many times you said, "I hate this damn thing..." referring to your phone. I finally left the car after a few minutes. Wandered into Acme. Ironically, it had been about 20 years since I was last in there and man, it had changed. I remember your short stint there, but so fast, you were in and out and done. I was in a daze but grabbed some flowers and took a big whif of them; fresh, yellow sunflowers. As soon as I smelled them, smelled the life nature can provide, I was on the other side of the darkness. I said to Lisa, to Gretel also, I just wondered how you were maybe parked at Ruby's waiting for one of us. I shouldn't have but then I wondered, were you were there alone sometimes....just maybe hoping someone was close by to meet you. I am happy Lam has that picture of you two there. We all I think had special meals with you there. I mean, even me you and pop pop. Time just went by so fast Mom. Aunt Bootsie I think didn't want to be sad in front of me. I could feel the moment when we both thought about the last time we saw you. They were literally just both times of joy and happiness. She told me, the last time you were over, you were sitting in the exact same chair and you were happy and smiling and talking about us and the grandkids. It almost cracked as we both just settled in on how happy of a person. I can literally hear her saying, in a way only she can say with her mix of philly and delco accent formed over 80+ years...."Bobby, your Mom was a goooooooooood person..." again, it's almost cracking me but with laughter and joy. Just how so much of today, we are so critical of things; in our lives, the media, other people's lives we have no business being in, heck, even perfect friggin strangers lives. I am truly ready to put all that behind me. So we talked, about your joy, (kids, husband, grandkids, pride of working). As she put it so greatly..."we might not have everything today, but it will be better than we had it yesterday.." It was so poignant of how we have lived....it really just warmed me up inside. I had to get on my way. I thought food was waiting at 988, but I was wrong. hahah. I gave her a big hug and smelled the flowers. I remember how many times I got you flowers. I remember just looking at different arrangements...and how you'd be surprised, so I did the same for her, but on my own accord. Two women got into a near fender bender on my way out. I just sat there, looking at them through my rear view. Thinking to myself....this argument will be the last thing you will want to remember in 20 years.
We spent the day/night celebrating Kane's 12th birthday. I will have to get a picture on this laptop, but dont at the moment. It was a nice time. I always look for some sign you're around, but then I stop looking when we are all together. That is the "sign"...us being together, laughing, games, good hearty food, topics flying all over. I think you would've been very proud. Dad did a great job with getting things for the party and decorating. I truly know it is not easy...I can't hardly bring myself to go places you were, but I do. Places you walked. Places you ate. I guess maybe I go so hard into the details of this life, but I know no other way. I almost think that's a flaw to some, to be too present, but then I snap back to what is true. You would want to be present with those you truly love in this life. you would not want to lose one fleeting moment.
It's four years later. Life is very different. I try to take things slower. I try to enjoy the car rides. The cold air coming through my small opening on the driver side. As Aunt Boots said, "I didn't really know my mom and dad that well. I don't really have a lot of memories to even remember....you had so many years with your mom Bob....but I know....it makes it even harder to let them go." I showed her a picture Seth had sent me. At some party, some B&B or retirement....you're smiling as wide as the coast....and there's Uncle Harry...cracking some joke to Joann....I miss those times. I know we were all around somewhere. Smoke filled rooms, no regrets and lots of sunsets draped in a few hangovers and memories. I am always thankful of our friends and family and all those good times either here or SWP. I am grateful Aunt Bootsie just breaks it down for me and doesn't dwell on what we didn't have or what we didn't experience. She looked at the photo on my phone for some time. Just trying to pick out more and more people. Looking at you with this huge grin. I feel good I can go back in time with her in these moments. Even if the past wasn't always the best, you keep going, make today better than yesterday was....