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Tuesday Update: 08/11/09

So I went to visit my parents in Texas last weekend. With everything going on these days, I figured it would be a good chance for me to get away for a few days and enjoy some good old fashioned quality time with my folks. They’ve had their fair share of stresses and worries these past few months as Dad continues to search for his next job. I figured they could use something happy to look forward to…like a visit from…ME! I’m just so glad I went. It had been a long time since I had some time to just sit and talk with both of them…no distractions, no particular agenda, just us being together. It was so great.

Mom and Dad live near a town known for their awesome water park, Schlitterbahn. A friend of mine has long wanted to go there herself and would often ask me if we were going to go there when I visit my parents. Just the other week Jenny asked me if I thought we’d go…I sort of laughed it off and said nah…but then it got me thinking…could we? Would we? I asked Mom if she thought they’d be up for it, since it’s been so stinking hot there lately…and sure enough, we decided to go. We got up and around on Friday morning and made it over to the park before it opened to get in and get our ‘spot’ marked with our cooler and towels. We just kind of stood around taking it all in, smiling at each other…we’re actually at a water park! Me…33 years old…and my parents! No kids – just us! Hilarious! And we had the best time, we truly did. We went down all sorts of rides together, wandered around the park, floated around in tubes, all day with constant smiles on our faces. It was over 100 degrees outside, but in the water it felt great. We actually closed the place down too! Who’d have thought it!? Surely, not I. But we did and it is a memory I will treasure for years to come…the day I spent at Schlitterbahn with my parents.

This week I couldn’t wait to get back to tell my friend all about Schlitterbahn and how much she would have loved it and absolutely needs to go there someday. Unfortunately, I found out this morning that her father passed away today after a battle with ALS. I couldn’t fight back the sting of grief I felt for her…especially after having just spent a long weekend with my own father, laughing, hugging, and just plain enjoying each other’s company. I will always smile when I think about the hour and a half Dad and I stood in line for the ‘World’s Best Water Ride’ – the Master Blaster. I mean, who gets to do that with their Dad, at my age?? It’s special. I realize that even more now, thinking about what Jenny has lost and all the memories they’ll never get to make together. I can’t imagine losing a parent. I love my own so very much – I can’t even say. I just pray peace for Jenny and her family now…that the reassurance that her father is no longer suffering would comfort them as they mourn him and remember him.

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