Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 27

... was always the day we celebrated Papa and Gigi’s birthdays.  They were 6 years and 2 days apart.   Papa’s birthday was on May 26 and Gigi’s was on May 28 so we always celebrated on the day between.   In years past we had sweet birthday dinners, their cake of choice…. usually crème de menthe … and times around the table telling Papa and Gigi what we loved about them.   Last year Papa celebrated his last birthday in bed with his usual sweet countenance and a birthday dinner of steak, eggs, sourdough toast, coffee and crème de menthe cake.  Isabelle made a crème de menthe cake today in memory of them.  I think we will do that every year on May 27.

What do I miss about the two of them? In simple terms, absolutely everything.  I miss Papa’s kindness, his gentle nature, patience and supreme tenderness.  His all-encompassing grin, eyes that spoke with no need for words; his voice, kissing his forehead, the smell of his skin.  I miss feeding him and eating breakfast together….just he and I.  Hearing “I love you precious girl” from his lips each and every day. I miss having Gigi sitting in the kitchen with me.  Over the years she taught me to cook.  She was the consummate hostess and passed on to me her desire to show love through food.  I loved watching Chad and the kids help them to the table for dinner.  I miss having every dining chair full.  I miss how Gigi cried every time she spoke of her daddy.  He died when she was 14. I love how Papa spoke of his God with deep reverence. I love the memories of countless running races with Papa on the sidewalk as a little girl. I love the treasures tucked away in my heart in the form of memories of Gigi walking on one side and I on the other, hand in hand with Papa.   I love that we still held hands when we walked or just sitting together, even as I was a grown woman.  I love how Papa showed Chad what it means to be a father, in word and deed.   I miss seeing both of them with our children, they each took so much joy in the lives of those around them.

A bittersweet day today. We went to the Stillwater Gardens where a portion of their co-mingled ashes are buried and placed flowers at their burial site.  The cemetery was beautiful, just as Gigi would have loved it, lined with hundreds of flags for tomorrow’s Memorial Day celebration.  Today we are celebrating the precious memories of two faithful people. The words … “may all who come behind us find us faithful”  rings abundantly true for the two of them.  While we remember them here, Papa and Gigi are celebrating today in a manner we cannot fully comprehend.  They do not celebrate for their earthly birthdays’, but in a way that I am certain must encompass every day in eternity…. celebrating the amazing joy of being with their Savior. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Recital....Kinda

Last Thursday was Mitchell’s Spring piano recital. The piece he played was Pirates of the Caribbean by Klaus Bedelt, arr. by Jarrod Radnich.   He LOVES piano and has worked diligently all year long.  He originally took lessons for 5 years, starting when he was 8 years old.  Hannah Geneser was his first teacher, and he, her first student.  She instilled in him a love for the piano and now that love is growing!  After his 5th year he took a couple year break.  He stopped for a couple reasons… the first being that he simply needed a rest!  The second was that during Gigi’s difficult times as her Alzheimer’s disease progressed it was very hard for her to have the piano playing long hours for practice; it was simply too much stimulation and noise for her.  I remember being so sad because over the early years of Mitchell’s lessons she absolutely loved listening to him play.  I can only imagine the beautiful music she is experiencing now with her Savior!

 This last year he picked back up again and began lessons under Sherry VandenBos.  What a treat this year has been!  She is an outstanding teacher and has encouraged him to challenge himself and push ahead of his presumed abilities.  She has brought out the best in him and we are so thankful for her instruction!  He does not intend to stop lessons when he goes to Running Start next year, he will keep going and push himself to more intense playing … we can’t wait to see the results! 

Sadly, the video of the actual recital was on Chad’s iPhone and for some reason we cannot get it to upload or email!  I wanted record of the song so we decided to re-record it on Mrs. VandenBos’ piano at his last practice this week.  While it is not the same atmosphere as the recital, it is still fun nonetheless. Even though this performance is not flawless, it is pretty darn fantastic! Needless to say …..  Mitchell has one PROUD Mama!

PS....Yes, Mitchell did do the final note at the is his favorite part of course!

A note on the video..... if you keep it small the HD is better.  Unfortunately if you take it to full screen you will get a grainy video, and I am not sure why!

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Party

Well....better late than never!  Due to sickness and schedules, JD's birthday party was quite delayed but it finally happened!  When Mitchell was little we had friend birthday parties almost every year but as more children and more birthdays came along we decided to make a friend party something special, every five years....with the exception of the "big one" .... a 16th birthday!   Don't get me wrong, we love to have people over for dinner to celebrate birthdays as families but this is the official "do something special" friends birthday!  We loved it that JD chose a few of his big, big brother's friends along with his own little friends.  We send KUDDO's to the big boys and their interest and kindness to a little guy like JD... how we love Mitchell's buds! It was a fun afternoon of bowling, football cupcakes and laughs!  JD was keenly more interested in the arcade at the bowling alley than the actual bowling, but great fun was still had by all!