I went home (to Mississippi) last weekend for Father’s Day. Days like that have always been special to my family. While many of my friends searched for the ideal golf accessory or gadget to give their dad, I had bought mine weeks ago: a plane ticket home. In my family, we gift each other with the best gift of all–quality time spent together. With all of the distractions everyone deals with these days, making the time to visit is ever more precious.
That’s why I felt especially blessed when my dad decided he wanted to drive me home (to Houston) after my weekend. And when my sister Colleen and her daughter Marisa decided to join, I was elated! Granted, it would be a short trip. I would have one 7+ hour car ride with them, and three nights (because I didn’t have the vacation time to take off of work).
I went to work Tuesday & Wednesday, and so did they–packing. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m currently under contract on a new home that is under construction (expected completion date: late July). They’ve all been so helpful and supportive through this whole process. I’m quite sure I would’ve said “forget this!” a long time ago and would’ve resolved to rent forever. So, now that the finish date is drawing near, they decided to help me get a jump-start on packing. It didn’t strike me to take the last pictures of my cutely decorated 1930 bungalow until after I got home on Tuesday and discovered all of the wall hangings had been newspaper wrapped, boxed and sealed. Oh well, I’m sure I have enough pictures of it already. With the jumpstart on the packing, I’m left to finish the purging and to prep and pack everything else. I have approximately 5 weeks. Let’s hope I can do this.
But back to the family visit…
Tuesday after work, I took them to see the house. The last time my dad saw the house, it looked like this:
83 days later, it looks like this:
I’m happy to report, he was “pleased as punch”! (trust me, that’s a good thing). He reaffirmed that he thinks I’ve made the right decision, which, in my world, means the world to me to have my dad’s “attagirl”.
Wednesday night, I took the fam to the Astros game. It was my dad’s first Major League game since we went the summer Minute Maid Park opened in 2000. It meant so much to me to be able to share that with him again. Colleen and Marisa had never been to the new ballpark, so it was fun showing them around too. I got to pull out my random ballpark stats and use the word “trajectory”, which always make me happy. It was a great night.
(like his new hat?)
One of the definite highlights was before the first pitch. We hung out along the baseline during batting practice and met some of the players. Hunter Pence, Geoff Blum, Tim Byrdak, Jason Michaels, Wandy Rodriguez and field manager Brad Mills came over and visited with us, signed autographs for Colleen and Marisa, and posed for pictures with the girls. (if you’re my Facebook friend, check out the pics!) It was very fun! Kudos to the players for being especially “fan-friendly” yesterday. They made our game experience that much better. And, to top it off, we got a win! 6-3 Astros over the Giants. Way to go! (that brings my win-streak to 3. woo!)
And after the fun, came the tears. Well, I never actually cried (I knew that wouldn’t be good for my daddy), but I couldn’t help but tear up when it came time to say goodbye this morning. I headed for work, and they headed for Mississippi. My sweet daddy said, “I know this won’t do any good, but you know you could always forfeit the earnest money you paid on the house and just come home.” And he’s right. I could. But what would I do after I got there?
This is something I think about, especially after wonderful time like this with my family when I see first hand exactly what I’m missing out on by being this far away. It’s a struggle, and I’m sure this heaviness on my heart will pass. But for today, I’m teary.