So, even tho' it's nearly two weeks past the Fourth, here I am, writing about it.
It was a truly fun several days. Starting on the Fourth, when L's "kids" came to spend some time with him and I at the lake. Six adults (three kids + three significant others), three grandkids, three step-grandkids, a few add-ons (other adults and kids), and two grand-dogs. Plenty of food, enough to drink, a sunny day and cooperative weather. Made for some good times, and so nice to see that many of his family all together!
The following evening - the 5th - my Duluth-area cousins gathered at a West Duluth watering hole, to meet the new guy in my cousin's life. She abides in Texas - previously in the Dallas area, and more recently in the Houston area - and a big part of my heart still lives there. Anyway, so good to see so many cousins at one time. And this was a karoke night at that bar (I can hear your groans, you know!), and the "new guy" has a very good voice... as does the (female) significant other of another cousin. If only I had the courage to face even a handful of folks, and sing publicly...
On Friday, as is our frequent habit, we went to the local Elks Club. And were surprised by his youngest son and his significant other, plus two of her kids. They brought me (surprise again!) a birthday cake plus a balloon. The element of surprise was SO nice and I felt quite special. Plus I had some added attention from others who were dining/drinking at the club. Truly, my birthday was the following day... but the celebration was just so unexpected and wonderful!
The following day (Saturday) we were invited to a private party being given by two Elks members, celebrating the fella's 65 birthday, and the couple's 40 wedding anniversary. More fun, more food, another great evening.
And the topper of it all was on Sunday, when we took our maiden 'cycle ride of 2012. I am very self-conscious on a bike now. I don't want to remove my helmet in public, being so damned-ably bald (hmm, got a spelling error on that word, but I'm leavin' it anyway). On the way back to L's place, we stopped at Porky's, near Island Lake, for an ice cream treat. And ran into his son and his honey plus the two kids (again). Of course, I am sitting there, eating the ice cream WITH my helmet on... Maybe someday I will have hair again.
Another woman who works in the same building where L leases space for his business, has been very supportive. She herself went thru uterine cancer plus the attendent chemo treatment, over 20 years ago. And then was TWICE "blessed" with bouts of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, as if the original cancer diagnosis and so on was not enough. Then she recently was diagnosed with another round of non-Hodgkins and began a combination this week of lower-dosed chemo (oral) and a once-a-week IV infusion. I knew that she had had biopsies for diagnosis last week. Dammit... again, can't the good Lord find someone else to bother? Why do those who have already faced down these damn diseases, have to be RE-visited with it over and over?
Okay... ranting doesn't help anything. And those of you who have not faced this "challenges" think that I am just being bitter. Can you REALLY blame me? What you should REALLY be astonished with, is that I have retained ANY sense of humor. Plus the fact that I can and DO sleep at night. I do not toss and turn and wonder if I will be around tomorrow. And I guess that says something about me, about my strength and character. Sigh...