We had a good day today.
I talked with a close family friend today and went over Dad's story with her. I told her about how I've been going to church now for about 1.5 years or so, but still don't consider myself a Christian. I mentioned how I do pray occasionally, but I'm not sure if my prayers got heard or not.
I said that now that Dad's gone, that I felt like I had someone who would hear me now. And then, ka-pow! Tears! I finally cried. It wasn't major, but it was the most since Dad died. I cried with Judy on the phone. She cried with me. Haley and Marci came a runnin' and, as soon as it started, it was over. Just like that. But, it was good.
Marci and I dumped the kids off on some friends and went over to M&D's this morning. Knight was there vacuuming and being domestic. Mom was out with Uncle Bob, Yumei and Rainbow walking the neighborhood. It was a beautiful day and the fresh air and sun was good for all of us.
M&D would go for these long long walks when Dad was healthier. He'd try even as he got sicker, but, afterward, they'd just walk around the house.
Knight, Marci and I proceeded to clean the house a little. Evidently Mom asked us to clean the windows. With what, you ask? Windex? 409?
I don't know why, but I thought it was funny. Chinese people are funny like that. But wouldn't you know it, though it's labor intensive, those windows sure were sparkly afterward.
Shannon came by later with some dim sum and shortly thereafter, the walking crew came back, hungry and sweaty.
The day went on and we kept busy. Marci and I got the kids later and brought them up. Mom had some friends visit and we started talking about plans for the next few days. We got to listen to Uncle Bob tell some stories about Dad. Stories about Dad and his game. Evidently, he was a little bit of a playa back in the day. It was pretty hilarious.
We looked through photo albums and digital pix Dad had taken while he traveled through China a few years ago. He was full and healthy and happy to be traveling. It was great to see him like that, and though he's been sick for a year now, I think that's how I'm going to remember him.
Mom told us that we needed to leave a porch light on and a hallway light on for the next month or so. The belief is that Dad will be visiting us and the lights will help him on his way. If it was anyone else, I'd be freaked out. Because it's Dad, I think it's pretty cool.
Haley had a touching/sad moment today. She's been a bit weird the past few days. She knows Dad is gone and she knows she's sad and I think she understands that dead means forever.
M&D have a little electronic pinball game. I was going to set it up for the kids to play and I asked if they'd share. Haley yelled, "NO!" and I just walked away. Riley was upset so I consoled him for a sec before going to lay a lecture on Haley. As I got to her, she came around the corner and surprised me by saying, "I miss Tai Yeh." She cried and said she didn't want to tell me that. I scooped her up and cried with her and told her I missed him too and we all missed him and he really missed us too. I told her it was ok to cry and that we are all so so so sad he's gone. That we all miss him so much and want him to be with us.
It was special for me to share that with her. I told her if she needed to cry or talk about it, that she could and I'd be there for her.
Tonight Knight and I went and picked up Dung and Ruby and their ever-growing family from the airport. I was confident it was gonna be a cry fest with the three brothers together for the first time since Dad's passing. I thought I'd finally sob like a little girl. Knight and I talked for a bit before the clan arrived and that was great. Knight is still pretty raw and I was ready for waterworks.
When the Ireland Changs came into view, we made a bee-line for them. I got to Dung first and we had a good ol' man hug. I told him how happy I was that they were here. We shared a few wet heaving breaths, but, for me at least, my eyes stayed dry. Hugs went all around. Megan is super-tall, Michael is skinny and tall, Annabelle is all smiles and dimples, and Joshua just isn't sure yet. He's about 14 months or so and probably doesn't know who all these wet eyed men are.
We packed everyone in the cars and headed home. I got to ride with Megan, Annabelle and Joshua. Talking with Megan was a hoot. She's almost 12 and it's fun having a conversation with her. She's excited to be home, though the reason why stinks. She's aware of what's going on and I told her she should feel ok to talk to any of us about her grandfather's passing.
At home, everyone was outside waiting for us. More hugs, lots of smiles, and, yes, more tears. Knight talked to Dad a bit and let him know we were all there. Though I know Dad knew, it was good to tell him. I can just see him with his big smile and picking up the kids and offering them all Mannabears (don't ask). He sure loved those kids and I loved watching him with them.
It was a madhouse for an hour or so. The Ireland Changs are 8 hours ahead, so once we got them home at 10:00pm, it was 6:00am for them and they were rarin' to start their day. Though, I'm sure the plane ride wore them out and, with any luck, they'll crash tonight.
I tracked Dung down upstairs in Dad's room looking at pictures and having a moment. It's tough to see him like that, especially since we've all had time to be at the house and have our own moments. I left him alone and let him do his thing for a few minutes.
Mom was in excellent spirits. She's gonna take over Dad's cell phone! In an moment of extreme irony, Marci, Yumei and Mom were sitting there working Dad's old RAZR phone. It's like the blind leading the blind. Actually, having seen Marci's and Yumei's glasses, that's as much literal as it is figurative!
Having all the family here again after a year was incredibly awesome. It was so awesome that, to me, it overpowered any major feelings of sadness. I know Knight and Dung had their moments when they got back home, and Marci, Shannon and Ruby did as well reliving the phone call to Dung, but overall, we were just so damn happy to see each other that it was all good.
When Marci and I left, we saw a deer crossing the street a few doors down from M&D's house. It was a boy (had 6" long antlers. That's a boy, right?) and it grazed on the neighbor's lawn a sec. I stopped and rolled down the windows and Marci chatted him up. We're told that since Dad's gone, his spirit will live on in something else and, corny as this may be, we told that deer that his house was a few doors down and that the family would be waiting for him.
In 31 years in that neighborhood, that's the first deer I've ever seen. I think thinking that was Dad is kind of neat.
Good to have a good day.