We are back from our weekend away. I think the kids had a good time. It was nice to have a couple of extra girls to add to the chaos and keep my mind working.
It was a bit of a later start than I wanted. Apparently, even with it being just me to pack for, and James' bag to double check (he forgot pajamas and I didn't notice) we still can't get going on time. We were delayed in leaving for an hour and a half, for no good reason that I can think up. You know you are running behind when your best friend (who is as big a procrastinator as yourself, and whose daughter is coming along) calls to see where you are.
Traffic was not too bad. For those who don't live in the Midwest, that means we only got stuck by the orange barrels of pain 3 times over a 150 mile drive. The kids were really excited so there was no complaining, only laughing and talking. I wanted to get them to the lodge in time for them to spend an hour or so playing in the water park. I was pretty upset with myself or not leaving early, as planned. We got to the lodge at about 8:30. And, wow, was it ever busy. I felt really badly for the front desk staff, as there was a concert (Halloween, purple people eater, Monster Mash...played at migraine inducing levels) going on in the lobby, not more than 10 feet from where they were trying to work. Despite that, and the many,"What did you say?", "What", and "huh's?" that transpired, we did manage to get checked in, find a parking spot less than a mile away and find our room.
The room was really nice. If you haven't been to one of the Great Wolf/Great Bear Lodges, and you have children, I highly recommend it. The room was fairly large (albeit with a small bathroom, which is trouble when you are traveling with 3 girly girls) with a king sized bed and a "Kid Cabin". The Kid Cabin was a faux log room off to one side with a bunk bed, day bed, television and desk. The kids (even the 17 year old) LOVED it, and they all slept in that room, leaving me a huge bed all to myself.
The suited up and off to the water park they ran. It is a nice waterpark; all indoors, with two big slides that you use innertubes for, two regular slides, two children's slides and even a baby slide. The zero depth entry pool was very nice, as was the sport pool, with volley ball nets, basketballs, and a floating "worm" to hang onto. They were exhausted afterward and pretty much feel right asleep. I sat on the deck for a few hours, really missing Leonard, and then went to sleep.
The next day was the trip to Cedar Point. Not having the time, the pages, the desire to bore you-let us just say, the kids had a blast. The girls rode most of the big rides, and my son went on quite a few too. I love the picture of him, above, about to take his first roller coaster ride ever on the "Iron Dragon". "Halloweekends" at Cedar Point (if the weather cooperates) are so much fun. When dark falls, There are haunted houses and walkways. The one my son loved was "Carn-Evil", which is all about carnival side shows, gone wild and roaming among the crowds. Lots of smoke, lots of flashing strobes, screams, and fun or the kids. We stayed until close and I bought each of the girls a pair of sweatpants and a hooded sweatshirt for James. It was good to get back in the car and head back to the hotel. I have never stayed in the area before, usually choosing to drive all the way back home. That is exhausting, after a long day, and long lines at the exit, so I was really grateful. That and the fact that, everywhere I looked, I thought I saw Leonard. Everywhere I went (even though we had never been to Cedar Point together) were memories of times we spent at other parks... roller coaster rides we took, the antique cars, the elephant ears...and God, how I missed him. I wanted to lean against him while waiting in hour long lines at the rides. I wanted to find him another magnetic address/phone number book to replace the one we bought on our honeymoon.
It was that way all weekend. Me, wanting him. Beds are so very big when your loved one is gone. It hurt so much more than I thought it would, to see James playing in the water without his daddy. Us, without him. Me, running away to nowhere to run. I just cannot escape this feeling of loneliness, emptiness and hurt.
I cannot see me, without him. I cannot be me, without him. I ache for his arms...I miss, too much, the feeling of his whiskers against my hand. It becomes unbearable. No, I am wrong. It is unbearable, and there is nothing I can do about it. I am so angry at Fate. As the days go by, it gets even harder, as the realization that this really happened comes knocking again and again. I am grateful for the resilience that youth offers for my children, but I still cry my eyes out at the thought of my baby boy growing up without his best friend. To make it through the weekend I pretended. I pretended, to myself, that Daddy was at home...working...and waiting for us. Only he wasn't...and the house, our house, our security,was dark and empty when I drove up.
Some have asked and yes, I see a counselor, as do the children...Sandcastles starts up this week for us. But there are some things in life that can't be fixed, or rationalized, or talked through, gotten over or recovered from. The death of my husband, my life and my soul has fallen into this category. He is my first need when I wake up in the morning, and the last longing I have at night. I want him back.