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Age Really IS Relative

This past week was a blur of friends, family, and fun, fun, fun. I’m always snapping photos so that I might be able to capture and somehow hold on to the memories of special times…much to the mild annoyance of others. But, being able to pull out photos years, months, or even just days later and remember with smiles what was said and done…well, I just love that.

Last Thursday I took the day off so that Amy and I could road trip up to visit our friend Julie...our friend who is undergoing breast cancer treatments, the one whose situation inspired us to learn to run so we could represent her in the Race for the Cure 5K this fall. The past several months she’s been on my mind and in my heart as I prayed for her and her family…but seeing her in person really made her cancer REAL. And suddenly it hit me that I’ve not prayed for her nearly enough. I take for granted that she is going to be ok…but now I realize more concretely how much she needs prayer. We talked and talked and laughed for hours and it was easy to be soothed by her familiar voice, laugh, and mannerisms. But then I’d catch her rub her fuzzy scalp, or close her tired eyes…and the reality of cancer would slap me in the face. She is a strong young woman and I trust God to see her through…but I simply cannot fathom the road she is walking on. I suppose, in a way, her experience is not unlike our own…in that she serves as a reminder how fleeting life is and how desperately we need to do our best to soak it up. It’s easy to get caught up in our own dramas and woes…it was a blessing for me to escape my own for a while and reconnect with an old friend. I’m so glad I was able to spend the day with these two special friends…it was a trip so worth making!!

The day after our visit the Karwoski family weekend started off early with a trip to the airport with Matt’s Grandpa to pick up some cousins flying in for the big celebration. I had offered to drive Grandpa down to the airport and I’m just so glad I did. I smile thinking about it, even now…just me and Grandpa heading down there together…and getting a candy bar at the airport while we waited. It seems trivial, perhaps, but having lost two of my three Grandpa’s years ago…it was special to me. I simply can’t say enough how much I treasure Matt’s grandparents. I have been so blessed to have grown up in their family nearly as much as my own…and have been a part of their clan for so long I easily love them as though they were my own. To see their faces this weekend as family from all over the country arrived to help celebrate Grandpa’s 90 years…well, I’m not sure I can put in to words how happy it made us. I had written earlier about legacy…and questioning what legacy Matt and I would leave behind should we not become parents. While our legacy may not be what I had hoped it would be…Grandpa and Grandma Kawoski’s sure is and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.

Friday night a group of us ‘kids’ broke off from the ‘adults’ and headed out to Hickory Park for supper. Hickory Park is a well-known restaurant in the Ames area with fantastic food…and superb desserts! We had a great time catching up with the cousins and enjoying the yummy food. Saturday morning the ’38 and under group’, as we began calling ourselves, met up at our place to head down to the Des Moines Farmer’s Market. You know how much we love our Farmer’s Market and it was such a treat to share it with the cousins! I know we did Des Moines proud…those Texans were pretty impressed! They kept saying how they couldn’t believe they did it EVERY WEEKEND! We wandered around sampling the yummy treats, checking out all the sites, and finished up with lunch on a patio at one of the local restaurants downtown. Aside from a stray splatter of birdie do-do…we all had a wonderful time! (But even the bird pooh was pretty darn funny…I WISH I’d gotten a photo of that!) After the market we went back up to our house and sat around on the deck for a while, enjoying the sunshine and our awesome new deck enhancements. Just a week earlier we’d commissioned a contractor to build us a pergola, railing, and bench seat on the deck. It was the perfect opportunity to break it in…and we loved it!

Saturday evening was the main event…Grandpa’s party at Lucullan’s in Ames, another local restaurant. They served us delicious food, family style…which suited this large family just fine. Grandpa and Grandma were in fine form as they flitted about the room catching up with everyone. Cousins, 2nd cousins, 3rd cousins, nieces, nephews, brothers, and sisters in law…I think there were around 37 of us total…all there to reminisce and celebrate the 90 wonderful years of Grandpa’s life! The room was lively and full of laughter all night. After the party disbanded the 38 and under group walked downtown to a dive bar for a drink. More good times, goofy pictures, and laughter ensued.

Sunday morning the families slowly broke off and headed back home, leaving a smaller group to spend the afternoon and evening at our place. I had prepared BBQ beef brisket sandwiches and all the fixins…and the boys made us ice cream to go with leftover cake and a strawberry rhubarb pie I had made for Matt’s cousins Heather & Patrick who would be celebrating their 1st wedding anniversary the next day. We spent the evening together visiting…and it was so nice.

Monday I had also taken the day off to recuperate and I’m SO glad I did! I figured I’d be tired from the busy weekend and I was…but I also wanted to have another day to spend with Matt. We had a lazy morning, saw a matinee in the afternoon, and washed the car in the driveway. We just had a good, good day together. It was the perfect cap to what really was a perfect weekend. It was just what I needed to readjust my attitude and perspective, to recharge my batteries, and to remind myself what is really important in this life. Matt and I have so very much to be thankful for…so very much to look forward to…we are blessed in more ways than I can count.


Emily said…
Sometimes I find we have more than just a name in common, Emily. Yet again, your post has spoken encouragement and blessing on me.

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