Thinking of you with love, laughter and longing today. I figured All Saints Sunday was the right day to end my self-imposed blog-cation.
Here's a roundup of happenings since we last "spoke."
Rosh Hashanah. Okay, technically this was in late September, but you would have been tickled with this one. Jason and I amused ourselves by celebrating the Jewish New Year. We met at Katz's Deli for a lunch of corned beef and pastrami sandwiches. He had a friend in town for the weekend. That place is awesome! We will be back.
Pink Reeboks. Remember how much you loved your 1980s "pink Beepbops"?! You were so fond of them, you even got them resoled! I found some updated ones on Zappos. They were the perfect footwear as I traveled to Charlotte for Race for the Cure.
It just felt like a funny little metaphor for parenting -- that balance between letting your kids roam and explore, while keeping them close enough that they don't hurt themselves. I guess everyone finds their own right balance.
Falling In. It's such a treat to watch the leaves change in the park, and I always think of you when I'm around Bow Bridge. It's a bittersweet season on all sorts of levels, though. You were supposed to come to NYC in the fall of 2012, the fulfillment of a bucket list dream. And then we found out your cancer was back. I know you wanted us to focus on all the many trips we DID enjoy, but I imagine I'll always feel a bit melancholy about this season.
A Answer. On that note, though, you would have loved following along as Elly has settled in at Duke Divinity School. Another Quincy gal finding her way through the Gothic Wonderland! Hopefully she won't mind my sharing this lovely post:
Quotable. Got a free life coaching session on the street one day outside of a big advertising conference. Loved this! It was one of those little NYC serendipities.
Clarice came up early on Friday to help us prep for the brunch on Saturday. Once the food was under control, she and I really amused ourselves buying the perfect paper plates (pink and orange...they were very cool!) at Blackhawk. Then we spent entirely too much time getting a coordinating flower arrangement.
After my beach trip, Dad and I drove over to Jacksonville to get his new car serviced. I chatted with a nice gentleman at the dealership, asking if he had any good lunch suggestions. We ended up at the Cummer Museum of Art. What a neat place! I didn't drag Dad through too much of the museum, but the gardens were just lovely.
Also On Display. Here are a few of the photos I took of the exhibits inside the gallery as we buzzed through. The fashion exhibit was actually better than one of the Costume Institute shows Travis and I saw at the Met.
Here's my friend Nicole and her family in Atlanta. (One of her friends commented "the family that slays together stays together." HA! Seriously, I think this could win some kind of contest...)
This one seemed somewhat appropriate but totally creepy...
This one made me laugh, as I cannot think of anything you'd find more antithetical to the concept peaceful eternal rest than a f'ing mariachi band in a graveyard...
These seemed fun and funky without being super creepy, but they also felt too obvious...
But honestly, it was really this one that amused me most and made me think of you.
I was going to watch "Frida" with Salma Hayek in your honor. Or...the entire original Spanish series of the soap opera that the CW has remade as "Jane the Virgin."
But sometimes, as you would have said, "Ya just need a little no-brainer." So, I watched a bunch of episodes of Scandal, followed by Magic Mike.
Travis and I made it to church today, and then Adam and I had lunch. Church was really lovely. I know you were honored at Centenary too, and Leigh Ann lifted you up in Charlotte. Last week, I started watching a PBS program called Finding Your Roots, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. It's about ancestry and identity and place...all themes that feel really ripe and resonant for me these days.
Along similar lines, I watched a movie I so wished you'd been here to discuss.
I'd seen a little clip about it on Entertainment Tonight; Oprah hosted a garden party at her estate for the cast and crew, her attempt to give it some publicity.
I guess sometimes even Mama Oprah's golden touch doesn't do the trick? It seems to have flown under the radar, which I think is a shame. It's a rather fascinating look at society, identity, place and change, all themes that feel so resonant for me these days. And perhaps it's one of those self-fulfilling prophecies, but these "signs" keep popping up, little miracles that make me feel like the universe is giving me little nuggets and clues.
Someone on my street left a few books out on the stoop, a sort of "one man's junk" giveaway, so I helped myself to this.
Even as I feel a bit adrift in a year of intense change, I'm amazed at how supported and rooted I feel at times. It's funny and counterintuitive, but your illness and all of that time in Quincy really strengthened me and grounded me in ways that feel so necessary yet unimaginable, they're almost impossible to articulate.
And I could go on...and on...and on and on...like I tend to do. But why not "save it for the book"? Because you already know the rest of the story, don't you?