Twice a year my extended family goes to Lone Oak, on Sunrise Beach at the Lake of the Ozarks. Once in May and once in October. Last weekend was to be our weekend at the lake (a weekend we all HIGHLY anticipate), but Mom went to the hospital the week leading up to that, so we needed to cancel.
Instead, we all gathered at my house and had a giant sleepover. We talked about the right course to take with Mom. We encouraged each other that this was the best – and healthiest – thing to do for her. And for Dad. But as is typical for Dad, he forced humor and fun into the weekend as well.
We visited a pumpkin patch and picked out pumpkins.
We played games…competitively!
Toasted marshmellows in the fireplace…
Slept in… (‘ish)
Ate a big breakfast together of french toast, eggs, bacon, potatoes (thank you, Scott!), and pancakes (thank you, Dad!) We set the dining room table at Mom and Dad’s and did the thing I love the most…we passed plates.
I love the passing of plates. People talking over each other and passing plates over and under each other’s arms. Multiple conversations going on at various spots at the table, but all anchored around one central table for one central purpose. Midway through breakfast Anna-Margaret (at the opposite end of the table) said, “Greta…we’re passing plates. Are you happy?”
The answer to that was a resounding “Yes!!”
A difficult weekend that had an undercurrent of sadness. But each one of us tried to rise above it and be thankful for the family that we are – mixed, ever-changing, and always filled with love.