Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DAY 6 & 7: Food, Family and Final Farewells

Goodbye to Boston, Hello NJ
Crashing at your house, by the way.

We arrived at my brother’s house on Wednesday afternoon, just in time for cocktails!  David is an amazing host and I joked about how I was expecting a gourmet meal upon our arrival; little did I know, he called my bluff!!
A small family BBQ turned into an episode worthy of the Top Chef!  There was steak teriyaki, duck a l’orange, seared ahi tuna, and homemade creamed spinach, corn on the cob, bottles of wine…I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but you get the idea.
Dad and his friend Lois joined us. I was so happy to finally meet the woman who seems to have helped my dad relax and mellow out a bit!  We missed Max and Nicki, who were busy being counselors at camp, but we got to hang with Jason, who I’m told actually spent more time at home those few days than he did all summer! We were honored!! 

After our best night sleep yet, we were refreshed and ready to enjoy a beautiful day. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans.  Apparently the NJ/NY area had been having two types of weather this summer: the usual hazy, hot and obnoxiously humid type, and rain.  Thursday was rain, which I guess was fitting.  Our first stop was visiting the cemetery to visit my mom’s grave. It had been my first time back since she died over 2 years ago.  It was Jessie’s first time here as well…just as it had been at Phyllis’s grave.  When my mom passed, Jess had an interview for a position in her music department that I’m convinced help get her into college. She was also so sick that she needed to be on antibiotics.  When Phyllis passed, she was in the middle of finals.  Jon and I convinced her both times that her grandmothers would have wanted her to stay where she was and do what she had to do, rather than fly across the country and put her life on hold.  We still believe it was the right decision at the time, but she felt so alone and missed on some sort of closure, for lack of a better word.  So, on this trip, she finally got that closure.  She was finally able to put her own pictures to our stories and memories.  We walked away from the grave, the rain mingling with our tears, and tried to remember when mom was alive and healthy and happy. 

Next was lunch with two of mom’s dearest friends while we were growing up…my pseudo “Aunts.” We walked into the restaurant where there were maybe 4 tables with other people.  Let me backtrack for a moment.  This was a family trip.  We had to make a choice because we had so little time.  We didn’t make plans to see friends this time, because we literally had 2 days in NJ, and 2 in NYC to spend time with our own family.  We reluctantly drove right through Connecticut and my own hometown, where we could have stopped and seen so many friends.  We promised ourselves next time. 

Ok, back to the restaurant and the four other tables.  I don’t have my glasses on, so everyone in the distance is blurry.  We go and sit down, and around the corner appears my very best childhood friend, Gigi.  Gigi was the matron of honor at my wedding.  Gigi was one of those friends who I didn’t call to tell we were coming.  Who feels like an absolute idiot now???  Yeah, me…that’s who.  Gigi was sweet, gracious and I begged her not to hate me!!  She didn’t and doesn’t and I love her for it. 

Lunch was amazing.  Catching up with my two other mothers, seeing them get to know Jess and bit better, and just being back in Suffern and my childhood for a few hours. 

Back to David’s and later onto a terrific dinner at a local Italian place where everyone knew “Dr. Gold!”  I loved it!!!  After dinner, it was laughing to Pitch Perfect!! Who knew it was a family favorite?!!

It was a too short but very sweet visit.

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