Our son's last day with us has been a lot of fun, tempered by a few other incidents. I have felt vaguely sad and ill at ease all day, typical of what happens on the last day of any of my visits with him....joy at our time together coupled with a profound sadness to be separated once again and this time it is worse, not knowing if we will be seeing him again in 3 or 4 months or a year or nearly 3 years.......I detest the not knowing at all.
However, we have had fun today! We got off to a late start as we all slept in a bit, then we waited to start our shopping day until a friend of mine delivered a beautiful woolly sweater I purchas earlier this week from her store. We eventually got to Cornwall Center just before noon and had good fun in The Bay while my husband and son tried on shirts and pants and made their selections for the new year. For the first time practically since he left home nearly 20 years ago, our son will have more than 2 pair of jeans and his dress pants! The brand of jeans he used to purchase at the Bay is no longer carried by that store, so he compromised with some others he eventually decided he likes. (I would rather go clothes shopping with a dozen middle aged women than with him as he can spend hours trying on a small handful of items and then hemming and hawing for another hour as to which of the items, usually only one, if any at all, he wants to buy.) hahaha Oooooh son....I thought your dad was a slow shopper....you far out distance him on your inability to make wardrobe decisions. Finally we decided it would be lovely if he just bought all the pants for once in his life and stopped being quite so minimalist in the area of his wardrobe. He is doing more teaching now so could use a few more things that are decent to wear in public. The fact that each pair of jeans was on sale for half price or less helped convince him he could handle having a few more than usual. haha My husband found 2 shirts he actually likes and that fit him properly...after only 90 minutes of looking at every shirt in the store...and there were a LOT of shirts....all over the racks....all through the mens' department....everywhere we looked....aiii yiiiii....!
We took a wander through Sears on our way back to the carpark and lo and behold, if out of the corner of his eye our son did not see the small shelf off to one side of the clothing department that was stuffed with several pair of the very brand of jeans he had originally hoped to purchase in the Bay. There was one pair left in his size so we convinced him to just get it! He now owns a total of SEVEN pair of pants! Unheard of!
My son also found some socks and undershirts and a teensy tiny wallet that is just perfect for the bit of stuff he carries with him on a regular basis. It was a most successful shopping day for the guys! YAY!! At least they both bought things this time. Usually I don't go with them clothes shopping because it galls me to stand around in a store for anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours and watch them decide in the end to purchase absolutely nothing!
None of the restaurants we wanted to go to for a late lunch were operating their usual hours today, all closing early to take an even longer long weekend, so we headed to Bobby's Place for our third visit there since they opened this branch of their chain. It wasn't too crowded, the music piping in over the loudspeaker was gentle, the owner of the chain was visiting from Moose Jaw today and stopped at our table for a good visit and the food was quite delicious! The burgers my husband and I had were thick and juicy and slathered in mushrooms. Our son's Shepherd's Pie plate was huge and he enjoyed every bite. My caesar salad had so little dressing...it was perfect for me. I waited too long to eat lunch so was overly hungry and ate both halves of the small burger bun, but that was my worst culinary sin......today......
After lunch we went back downtown to visit the main head shop here. It has a wonderful vinyl collection for sale. My husband purchased a great double DC of John Coltrane and my son found a valuable and rare double album of Keith Jarrett's music. The prices were so inexpensive and the condition of CD's and albums just excellent. What I found for myself was a place to sit down!! My hip had packed it in by then and was very, very painful.
We stopped at the grocery store on the way home so our son could pick up some fresh vegetables and a decent piece of beef to cook up for dinner. We will be eating quite late. The boys are currently having a late afternoon nap after the stress of having to try on and choose wardrobe items. hahaha I find clothes shopping to be quite an adrenalin rush but they find it to be completely exhausting. hahaha
Unfortunately my husband's and my own high spirits died a quick death when we came home and I picked up the mail. There in the box was a speeding ticket my husband accidentally racked up the day he went shopping for my computer. He was in an area of the city he is not familiar with and was so busy peering about for the store he was looking for he didn't realize he was driving through a school zone at top speed. $214 later, ouch ouch ouch right before a trip to BC we hadn't budgeted for this year, not knowing of course that my husband's step-father was going to pass away out there.... However, the cheque to pay it is written out and it will be popped into the mail on Tuesday! We actually can afford to pay it! That is joy to me even if my husband feels really badly for not realizing he was speeding. He forgets sometimes that school zones here are in place at all times, all year round and are not only in effect when the kids are actually in school, the way it was in Alberta when we lived there. I wish I could make him feel less badly for screwing up. He is so hard on himself.
Then we checked our email and there was a note from the daughter of our beloved Home Church Ministries director, telling us that he has suffered a great failing in his health over the past month and is now in hospital after 5 falls inside his home in the past week. They are awaiting a placement into a nursing home for him because now his mind is failing rapidly as well. I just feel kind of ill knowing he is likely not long for this world after he played such a huge role in our lives since just before we both turned 20 years old. We have known him for 4 decades! He has been our spiritual mentor, our friend, our great prayer intercessor for our lives. O John, how we are going to miss your input and your wisdom and your love for us. We hope that if you leave us before too long you will soon be back in the presence of your beloved wife Reta, who you have missed for so many years now.
The worst part of the day is the realization that less than 12 hours from now we will be taking our son back to the airport so he can return home to start making his plans for the big move south. I am not feeling very grown up about it right now. I want to hug him forever. I want him to move back home into our suite. I want him to promise he will never leave Canada. Okay, okay....in my right mind, the mind that I inhabit every day with him except the last day of any extended visit....I do not really want to do any of those things. I want him to follow his own path, for him and us to trust the Lord as always for his future, to continue to enjoy his own life with his own friends and various surrogate families he has adopted himself into in Vancouver and New York. I am very happy for him, just feeling sad for his dad and me as the day darkens and the time approaches way too quickly for his departure.
So, that's the kind of day it's been! All the possible emotions...aiii yiiii.....