|Pole Tree w/moon Circa 2007 at the Country House|
Justin had already committed to moving the 2nd 1/2 of his parent's porch to the Country. So, the in-laws would be in 'town' as well. He left with them to their 'other' property on Saturday morning.
I finished wrapping presents, loaded my vehicle & drove up on Friday afternoon. I had to get there ahead of time, as I haven't dusted in forever. Which actually was a blessing in disguise as there had been a terrible wind storm during the week. No matter how sealed your house is, when the wind is blowing & the farmers are harrowing & people are driving up & down the dirt road, dust & grit gets in and settles. It only took me about an hour to do a somewhat thorough job (it's a small house <1300 sq. ft.). I took a suggestion I had read about recently & used damp micro fiber towels (we have a boatload of them) on the swiffer for the floors. It did a great job. I also got the sheets washed & the beds made up & then ate a salad.
They arrived around 7:00p, after stopping at my Dad's, they got to our house around 8:30a. We just sat & talked a bit before retiring early.
I got up Saturday morning & made Pecan Pie Muffins. Everyone else got up & we just sat around and drank coffee, checked email, facebook, etc. We talked while the television made noise in the background. They are very melancholy & stoic & as we talked Brooke's stories intermingled with ours. One item we were discussing is coffee. Everyone that comes & stays at our Country House just raves about the coffee & my BIL is no exception. They all say, what kind is it? & where can I find it?! I always answer .... Maxwell House Lite / the grocery store. I don't know why it tastes so good there but it does.
Everyone went to town except me. I stayed home & made soup & a couple of loaves of bread & puppy sat with my Sister's cutest toy poodle, Lexie. She is a very sweet dog & we had a wonderful afternoon waiting.
Once everyone got home we put on a low country boil & had a fine time over dinner. We then opened presents & sat around & talked some more.
Talking about Brooke throughout the morning, afternoon & evening came so natural to us all. I am especially proud that her Mom, Dad & Sister feel so comfortable talking about her. All the Pandora charms that I had bought Brooke are now displayed on my Sister's bracelet, as they should be. It was all so comfortable & natural. We ALL miss her but know that nothing we do can bring her back so we must just celebrate her life & memories that each of us had with her & just keep remembering our moments with her.
Since Justin & I had driven separately, I took the long way home Sunday & stopped at Brooke's resting place. Yes, I cried, just as I do every night & most times when I am driving alone (very dangerous as my eyes get very blurry), but it's what I am now conditioned to do & I feel better each time I do it.
Her gravesite had been cleaned of all the flower arrangements & only held a couple of mementos, until her headstone is ordered. I wanted it to all be a bit neater, but will wait until my sister moves forward to keep it as I know Brooke would want it.
It's quiet, out of the way & peaceful there. Like I said before, her resting place is not where she is, but where I can go to reflect on her life & my short time with her. I will never stop missing her but she would want us all to move on & just keep thinking about her.
I doubt Christmas will ever be the same again but that's okay. Presents are not what it's about, it's just nice to spend time & just be, with those I love.