Monday, January 19, 2009

Family Time in Texas

B&W Photo: Pat, Ann, Linda, Theresa, Bill, Susie (missing is Mike) Color: Bill, Susie, Pat, Linda, Ann, and Mike. (missing is Theresa)

Bill's family lives in Texas. We were determined to get home to see his family at least once a year after his sister and my brother passed away. It really made it clear to us how fragile life is. My family is easy enough to see. They live either around here in Florida or close to our place in NC so we are able to see them often.

We failed to keep our pact to see Bill's family this past year and realized that we let life get in the way of what is important. We tried to make up the deficit this past week. This month is my SIL Linda and my BIL Charles' birthday. All the family was gathering to celebrate their birthdays (they really ARE getting old! LOL) and we thought that would be the perfect time to surprise them.

We arrived an hour after the time for all to arrive and we pulled it off. Oh my. I think I'll always remember the looks on their faces and their embraces as they gathered round us there. What a joy it was to see every one. I miss them so much and to see them after a year brings tears to my eyes still.

What a marvelous time we had. The party was at Pat (Bill's sister) and Charles' brand new house that they just moved into last month. It is gorgeous. Pat is an incredible artist and her home is filled with her paintings. Being there is like going through a museum of masterpieces and stopping to absorb each one could take a long time. I promised myself that seeing her paintings and her talent this time would inspire me and not affect my painting negatively. My last visit brought on a six month hiatus from painting because I knew I'd never be that good. Every one has their own style and their own gift though and I don't want to go there again. I'm much more mature this year. LOL Pat made chili and cornbread and we had a German Chocolate cake, plus drinks and appetizers beforehand. Yum! Every one in Bill's family is a good cook. (That includes the guys, so we really luck out there)

I can't express how wonderful it was to see this family that we love so much and see so little of. Bill and I talk about emotional bank accounts and how we and others can put in deposits or withdrawals and you just hope it will equal out. I forgot where we read that. Anyway, we got a huge deposit in our emotional accounts this past weekend. I'm so thankful for them and our time together.

One sad note was the absence of Bill's sister, Theresa. This is the first time we have been at a gathering without her and she leaves a hole in all of us. As I sat and listened to the chatter going on about me I realized that she was there though, just as Mother (Bill's) was; in spirit. Theresa's absence was as huge as every one present and I felt that was Theresa being present. She'll live through each of them as they go on living such a good life each day. I just realized that we did get together one Christmas after Theresa passed away. Oh, well, I'm getting old and I forget. That was the saddest though so it does feel a little more doable now in comparison.

A little about Bill's family so you'll know whose in the pictures, or try to guess. LOL Ann is his oldest sister, married to Bill M. Pat is married to Charles (birthday guy), Al is Theresa's husband, and Linda (birthday girl) is with her boyfriend, Ray. Then Bill R (he's mine), Susie is married to Dan, and Mike is with his LONG time girlfriend, Denise. They all have children and grandchildren that they all adore and the family is getting huge. It's a joy just to see them with their grandchildren. They all have a lot to be proud about.

Al, Charles, Pat, and Bill and I went with Linda to mass that night. It's the first time I have been to mass since Brian died and it was nice going with the family like this. The whole family came over to Linda's afterwards. We had pizza and drinks and lots of catching up and talking about their pasts as well. They are all so funny you get tired cheeks from laughing so much.

We had a wonderful time and we will cherish it until we see them again.

Pictures will be added just as soon as I get them. I forgot my camera this trip and had to get a disposable. I know you other bloggers will find this impossible to believe. It's like leaving my arm or leg behind. I still can't believe I did it but we managed just the same. Then I forgot to get them developed today. (I am noticing a pattern here!) Check back though, they will appear. J


Mary said...

How nice that you were able to spend time with Bill's family and celebrate Linda's and Charles' birthdays.

I hadn't realized that Bill had a sister who is an artist. I do hope that your visit with her inspired you this time!

I just can't believe YOU forgot your camera. That's like leaving a hand behind. LOL.

Mary said...

So glad you added photos. I can see the resemblance in Bill to his brother! Black and white photo is a nice addition too.

Bill said...

Kudos. You captured it all and told about the great time we had. I believe Linda and Ray is a beautiful love story. Look forward to our return trip. Maybe another surprise would be good.

Judy said...

Yes, Mary, I have always told Mike, Bill's brother, to just look at Bill to see what he will look like in a few years. I think they favor also.
Bill, I think we may have to forego a surprise next time and just go as normal people. LOL You can only surprise people every once in a while. LOL We sure had fun didn't we. I think we are still on that cloud floating around with our memories. :)