When Mom and Don arrived at our condo last Wednesday evening, it may have made them a little anxious.
Abi had just finished up her second day of treatment, and was resting – not all that comfortably – on the couch. They knew our girl had another day of treatment to go, and I’m pretty sure they had to be wondering just what the weekend was going to look like.
But what started off a little tentatively turned out better than any of us could have hoped for.
Among other things, Abi seemed bounced back from round 18 even more quickly than normal. Mom and Don got to have an early birthday celebration with Nate, which I know meant a lot to all parties. And we got our first taste of Spring - which gave us plenty of opportunity to stroll the beach, to walk Mirror Lake at the Botanical Gardens with Jackie and John, have an impromptu picnic at Taste, and afterwards, to watch Bindi roll around in the mud at the Bayville Farms with Bo and 20 other new friends.
But to me, the highlights of their visit were two of dinners we were able to share.
On Friday night, we all met up with Jackie at LeGrand, where Nate has been cooking for almost two years. (If you ask my mom, she’d tell you Nate is the head chef, though he insists otherwise.) We were fortunate that we got there before the rush, and the seven of us sat at the counter that’s literally an extension of LeGrand’s very small kitchen. So in a sense, Nate was able to join us. Oh – and I loved that mom and Don tried some things that they probably don’t often get – and seemed to enjoy them. Everything was delicious. Abi was feeling good, and mom was able to share volumes of ancestry information with Jackie. Fun facts: my ancestors – going back to 1099 AD – often found themselves in battles that they don’t survive,
and they were Protestants 500 years before Martin Luther was born. (Alas, the latter fun fact was later disproven. Sigh.)
The second dinner was Saturday Pizza night. I absolutely love pizza night, and it’s becoming a regular thing in our house. First, we always loosely follow Chris’s pizza dough recipe, which means he’s right there with us, whether he knows it or not. Second, the only thing I do is the crust, which means everyone else is involved in the toppings. The kitchen is always in danger of descending into a chaotic mess – and because we can only bake one pie at a time, the chaos can last for hours. By this point, you must know that I'm fond of chaos - sometimes.
But the best part for me is sitting down for a few minutes between courses, and in this case, watching Mom and Don join in just as enthusiastically as “our regulars.” Hearing about mom’s work at the shelter, their plans to head to Florida to visit Don’s grandchildren, how mom is pretty convinced that Hannah wants her to stay an extra day in South Carolina to watch her new baby daughter – number eight of ten in my mom’s growing group of great-grandchildren.
The alfredo-mushroom-bacon, meat-lovers, and prosciutto-pea pizzas were all pretty great. But the food was really all about getting people who love each other in the same room at the same time. It’s always been that way.
The opportunity to spend the weekend with Mom and Don was a pretty good way to spend our bonus days this weekend. Maybe the best way.
Our girl is feeling great, and good thing, because there’s a lot coming up these next couple of weeks. Abi has a scan on Wednesday, and we embark on a great adventure on Friday. (We look forward to sharing this with you in the next few days.)
Please keep everyone – especially Abi – in your prayers as we know you will.