Sunday, October 7, 2007

Not quite how we planned...

Did you ever have a perfect plan and it not work out quite the way you envisioned? Well that's what happened yesterday. I have talked about my girlfriend Holly before. We've been friends forever and the two of us are very much members of each other's family. Growing up, I would go with Holly to her camp just outside of Franklin. It is so peaceful and serene up there. And I always said that I wanted to honeymoon there. Years before I even started dating, I asked "Mom and Dad" if I could use it when I got married. And when Kenny and I got engaged and started discussing possible honeymoon destinations we realized that we didn't have a whole lot of money. So, I asked him if he would care just going up to the camp. He didn't. He understood my reasoning. Planning a wedding is so hectic and stressful. I wanted to regroup, to regain my senses and just plain relax. I asked Mom and Dad if their offer on the camp was still in effect and they said of course. So that's what we did. We drove up to the camp on Sunday. Took in a little Franklin, a little nature, a little peace and quiet. It was definitely more romantic than some old cruise ship. That camp, which Holly's mom over the years turned into a second home, will always be my peaceful haven and honeymoon bungalow.

Now Holly's mom passed away on my dad's birthday, March 16, 2005. And her father has moved up to the camp permanently. So, on our way to Franklin yesterday, I fulfilled my ongoing promise to come and see him. We never did make it into Franklin. He was so pleased to see us pull up. We sat outside for a little bit. I gave him some heck for condition of the camp. Nancy would have pitched a fit if she saw it looking like that. And we got to talking. He commented that he and Paul (Holly's older brother who has Down's Syndrome) were probably going to ride into town later to get something to eat. He hardly ever cooks. Nancy always did. He doesn't even really know how. So I offered to make him something. He wanted spaghetti with meat sauce to eat later that night. He's so sweet, he offered me a jar of Ragu and told me that I could use that and just add some meat and doctor it up a little. Now no self-respecting Italian uses jarred sauce. He did have a few cans of tomato sauce though. I checked out his pantry and he had the right seasonings. So I made it from scratch. He was thrilled. I put in a pyrex dish and put it in the fridge (which I cleaned out.) Then I picked up, threw things out and vacuumed. Made him some coffee and was planning on leaving.

Well he was deep into another story with Kenny. So I sat on the porch with them and listened. And one story flowed into another. And before I realized, it was almost 4 o'clock. Paul hadn't eaten yet and was getting pretty hungry. So, I put the water on and heated the sauce back up. He apologized over and over for wasting our day and my sweet husband assured him that we never had a concrete plans. This was fine. See Dad has told all us these stories a million times. But, most of them were new to Kenny. And he had a captive audience. He could talk about Mom and cry if he wanted. He could reminisce as slow as he wanted and no one was hurrying him along. Now, don't get me wrong, Holly's family treats him like gold and has nothing but the upmost respect for him. But they've heard all of these stories (so have I) and sometimes talking about Mom for that long does the opposite of what he intends. Instead of just thinking of her in happier times, not wracked in pain from all of the cancer - they start to get bitter. How could someone so full of life and so good to others be taken away so quickly. Feeling fine in October, diagnosed with stage-four cancer in December and gone in March. But with us, he could do all of that reminiscing and while I cried with him during certain stories, I didn't rush him along.

It's now 7 o'clock and dark outside. He gave us some flannels for the ride home and thanked us for sharing a day with an old man missing his wife of 49 years. We promised to come back up for Paul's hayride on the 27th and with me I will bring some more sauce. He told me how proud he was of his 3 daughters: Holly, her sister Kim and me. Mom always called me her adopted daughter and loved me as if I truly was one. Dad is no exception. I love this family like my own. So our trip to Franklin and romantic dinner never played out. But, sometimes something better happens.

Love,

27 comments:

FarmHouse Style said...

Julie, how touching, I am crying as I finish reading.

It might not have been the day you planned, but it sounds perfectly romantic to me:)

Rhonda

Cottage by the River said...

Julie- That sounds like such a wonderful day. Unplanned events make for a fun day. My Dad just passed away in May, my parents would have celebrated their 48th Anniv. I understand how he felt. That probably meant the world to him that you were there. Have a great week. I am suddenly hungry for italian!!
Bristol

Nunnie's Attic said...

Come on to my house! There's always something being served.

Love,
Julie

Debbie said...

My mom died four years ago this coming Saturday. The pain never goes away completely. God bless you for being there for your "dad". You were obviously at the right place at the right time!

Kari & Kijsa said...

Julie- Well said, well written and well expressed! There is nothing like a good friend, and you have one and are one!
By the way- our dad always gave a good way to remember our names: Car Keys - Kari- (Car-ee) & Kijsa (Key-sa) They are both Norwegian names! Thanks again for your lovely comments and posts!
blessings, kari & kijsa

Rosemary said...

Julie,
What a lovely story. Everything happens for a reason. It was romantic anyway. I totally get the sauce thing. You are a good Italian girl. Thanks for sharing your day with us. You made someone very happy, and that is a great thing.
Rosemary

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Sounds like the perfect day to me .....making someone happy! :))

justabeachkat said...

Julie

Hi...I found you via kari and Kijsa and I'm so glad I did. I really enjoyed my visit here. Your post today was very touching. Friends are one of God's nicest gifts to us.

Hugs!
Kat

Michelle E. ~ Vintage Pastiche' said...

What a wonderful, touching thing you did Julie I'm all teary too as I was reading.

What you did are the things that people remember the most, not the presents or the cards but the simple act of being there and not forgetting.

YOu have a wonderful soul and are truly blessed.

*muah*
Michelle

ps I can't believe I haven't been here in a few days! *gasp*

Terri and Bob said...

How wonderful for ALL of you. I love it when real life interferes with our plans. You will NEVER regret that day!

Back Through Time said...

That sounds like a special day for all of you. You made someone very happy.
Your are such a special person! thank you for the heartwarming post.
Michelle

Meggie said...

Julie: What a sweet story. How special you made him feel, I'm sure. Applefest was really crowded anyway and it was hot! I think you had the right idea. You did a lovely thing.

collard green queen said...

Sounds like time well spent! You'll have to post the sauce recipe sometime...I'm hungry already..

BittersweetPunkin said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful day Julie...thanks for your sweet words also on your last visit......
Blessings
Robin

Brenda said...

That is very sweet.Im sure God had set that up! He knew you had the heart to listen. You are one awsome girl and it sounds like your other half is just as great.

Dena ~ swaddlecottage said...

Hi Julie,

I can't even think of what to write because I'm sniffling and teary over here. What a sweet gentle heart you have.

Hugs,
Dena

Heidi said...

What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing it. I know how you feel about that camp as we feel like that towards our cottage up in the north of Holland. Sometimes God gives you special angels here on earth to be a part of your life.

Sorry to hear you too are having the heat still. My mother in Ohio is also complaining about it. It is really cool here that is for sure and I am so very grateful.

Did you notice the signature on my blog? Thanks for telling me where to do it!

~~ Heidi ~~

Super Mom said...

Julie what a wonderful, wonderful story! I wish I could give you a big ol' hug.

Alexandra, Writing & Baking Enthusiast said...

So lovely. You are a jewel and know what counts.
Alexandra

Anita said...

Julie... What a wonderful, wonderful day... And great memories! It sound's like Gods plans were just a little different than yours... :)

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

What a beautiful post, Julie!
Sniff.

Shelly @ thePINKbarn said...

What a wonderful sweet day Julie. It is good when we follow the Lords leading. A scripture for you .....

"A man's heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps."
(Proverbs 16:9)

rosemary said...

Lovely tribute. Just lovely.

Alice said...

Both you and your husband were real angels on earth. I'm sure your visit meant alot. The companionship and being able to talk about his wife were important. But I'm not going to discount a homemade meal! Real Italian spaghetti--what a special treat.

Bethany Hissong said...

You are so sweet Julie... what a big heart! I wish more people cared as much as you do!!!

Emilie said...

That's a wonderful story.
I'm sure he was so grateful for you spending the day with him, and helping him out with the chores and cooking.
I'm sure the the sauce was amazing, too. : )

Kari said...

Great, great story! How wonderful of you to treat "Dad" with such love and respect. Truly.