Last weekend, I found the elusive “Perfect Sunday.” It occurred when I was visiting the Lake of the Ozarks with family. Most of my Sunday’s back home in California consist of fitting all the errands I couldn’t find time for in the week, into a single day. They are normally not relaxing and they definitely do not prepare me for the work-week ahead of me. This particular Sunday, however, was quite different.
I woke up around 8:30 a.m., and was actually able to stay in bed until 9:30 a.m. The bed was warm and the breeze from the open window kept the room at a perfect temperature. Around 9:45 a.m., I made my way downstairs and there was tea brewing, lox, tartines and fruit. All I had to do was fill my plate. I made tartines w/ schmear (lox/capers/chive cream cheese), had a cup of proper tea and mounded a bowl with delicious fruit. After grabbing my Nook and setting up camp by the fire pit, I spent at least an hour reading by the fire. I didn’t even notice my family was gone until about 20 minutes in and even so, I just continued to relish my time.
After breakfast, I went for a quick run (only 2 miles) since I didn’t really know my way around and then soaked in the massive tub for a bit. By the time I had finished my bath, my family had returned from their errands and had set about cleaning up breakfast. I dressed in something warm (it was really chilly) and joined them downstairs. Instead of television or video games, my mother broke out the board games. We played a game I had never heard of called “Farkle.” Needless to say, I won. That is, until my father had a ridiculous “hand” and rolled four consecutive times for a grand total of 2,600 points. He edged me out by 200 points and danced around the table for a good 5 minutes. When we tired of Farkle, I suggested Catch Phrase and the game lasted at least an hours. My mother and I versus my brother and my dad. It took my mother a bit to get in a groove, but once she did we were unstoppable. The two of us easily won and my mother said that meant we got to pick whatever movies we wanted.
While I went through our DVD’s, my mother made hot chocolate and Nutella crackers. I ended up choosing, The Apartment and my mother picked Miracle. Even though I’m not a fan of sports films, it was nice to spend time with my family. We casually talked with each other throughout the movie and hearing my family talk about my uncle really helped. For the first time I felt like I was really able to grieve and my family was there to comfort me.
When the movies ended, it was late into the afternoon and we needed to head home. Even though I didn’t have to work the next day, my family did. We packed everything into the car (including one very rambunctious miniature pinscher). On the drive home I listened to music and read. My brother fell asleep with the dog on his lap and my mother graded papers. The car ride was silent, except when we stopped for ice cream at this tiny stand by the road. They had this delicious salted butterscotch sundae and I was in heaven all the way home.
Pulling into the driveway of my parents house, I felt relaxed and oddly contented. Though I had dreaded spending a weekend stuck at the Lake of the Ozarks with my family, it turned out it was exactly what I needed. The entire weekend went famously and I have to admit that I was a little sad to leave.
I know that we will be leaving for New Jersey soon and the weight of the situation will hit me when I actually see my uncles family. My hope for them is that they can still have what I had this weekend, even without my uncle. What I don’t want to happen is that their family disintegrates because of the stress that comes with his passing. I hope that they can find comfort in each other and understand that the bonds they share with each other are unlike anything else.