My parents, my husband Steve, and I were up for 3 weeks (end of June to mid July) to visit Randy and help him out as much as we could. We had a wonderful time together. Randy was in good spirits and on the mend from his surgery. He's still working on his To-Do list which I helped him with a little. He has lots of things on his plate and trying to get them all accomplished can be rather daunting at times. I know I'm a procrastinator when it comes to doing things I'd rather not do, so I could completely relate to him. However, he did get quite a bit accomplished and keeps chipping away at the list.
Every day we started by having breakfast together at Randy's and enjoying the breathtaking view from his dining room. The weather was glorious and we enjoyed it immensely. Friends frequently popped in including some of my best friends from high school whom I hadn't seen in years. I felt so fortunate to be able to connect with them on several occasions. They came and visited Randy and my family as well, so it was a mini-reunion of sorts. That was definitely a bonus on our trip (at least for me). It was also great visiting with Emily and Riley several times and being around them. They are definitely growing up quickly and it was very special to be with them for such a long period of time. They are wonderful kids who are a joy to be around.
We visited our family friends that we've known for over 40 years (the Dawsons and Scrivaniches and Karen Vaughn Montague) as well. In fact, my parents even stayed with the Scrivaniches for 3 nights. It's such an incredible blessing to have so many wonderful long-term friends who are like family. We can pick up right where we left off with them, even if we haven't seen them in ages. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with all of them.
One of the highlights of our trip was when Randy and I presented our dad with a copy of Tim Russert's book "Big Russ and Me" along with 82 reasons why we love our dad. I had seen an interview with Tim Russert in which he was explaining how people had responded to his book after it was published and someone had written him and said how he had come up with this idea. For his father's birthday, this reader had created a list of reasons why he loved his father. He came up with a different reason for each year his father had lived. So, Randy and I each wrote 41 reasons to correspond to his 82 years of life. It was definitely a moving, emotional experience for all of us.
During our time up north Randy and I were able to spend some time alone together which was also wonderful. I realize more and more how much I love him and am so grateful to have him as my brother. He always makes me feel loved, no matter what.
No one can ask for a better gift than that! All in all, we had a memorable, relaxing, albeit emotional time visiting Randy, his friends, our friends, and family (we even got to see my dad's sister, Betty, and her daughter, Anita). We enjoyed every moment of our time together.