On Sunday, we hosted a BBQ for members of the old gang to reunite. We scheduled it for 1 pm; the first guest arrived at noon. I had made pulled pork, baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, brownies, and strawberry cheesecake trifle. We also had cheese & crackers, veggie trays, and chips & salsa. Jim had the grill fired up and had freshly ground hamburgers, giant kosher hot dogs, freshly made brats, and chicken breasts to choose from. He also set up a gazebo where we set up a buffet line. Our friend, Eric, brought another gazebo, and we set up the tables and chairs. We had about 15 adults and 5 children under 5. The party ended around 10:30 pm.
On Monday morning, Sera had her first swimming lesson, and that evening about half of the party guests returned to help eat leftovers. Tuesday was another swimming lesson, and out with Carl & family for Chinese before going back for the 4th campfire night in a row. On Wednesday, we had swimming lessons, playgroup, a three hour nap, ballet lessons, and all the gang back at our house for pizza and a fire. Thursday had me at an all day workshop then hanging out with Elliot, Linus, & Sera while the men went to see Star Trek. After another fire, we said a sad goodbye to Carl, Elliot, and Linus. Friday was another workshop for me, and then we all relaxed at home last night.
While hanging out, Sera asked to watch Finding Nemo. Since we'd already watched it twice this week, I started naming other suggestions. She said no to all until I got to The Lion King. It wasn't until it started that I realized this choice might not have been the right one. On the other hand, maybe it was.
This was a hard movie for Sera to watch, yet she wouldn't let me turn it off. She didn't understand how Simba's Uncle Scar could be mean. She didn't understand why his daddy didn't get up. Parts of it scared her; parts of it made her laugh. She recognized Nala from one of her books.
This isn't the first movie she's seen that has had a death in it, but I don't think she's ever caught on that the wicked Queen dies in Snow White. She still doesn't really understand what death means, but she did understand that Simba's daddy was hurt very badly and couldn't get up.
The timeliness of this subject is what makes me think it may have been the right choice after all. Last July, we made a huge cross country trip. It's main purpose was to spend some time with Jim's father as he'd been battling cancer for some time. About two weeks ago, we learned that his prognosis had taken a turn for the worse. We've been working on some last minute plans to get back out to Utah. My nephew, Bret, is flying in to travel with us as we'll be camping near Bryce Mountain. We're going to power drive there next weekend as Jim only has one week off between summer school sessions. Our plans included giving Jim time to spend with his father while helping his wife, Dee, who has been taking care of him. Bret, Sera, and I would spend some time at the house, but I'll also take them to Bryce Mountain to do whatever we find to do.
While in the middle of typing this post, we received word that John has reached the final stage. His nurse said it could be hours, it could be days, but the end has arrived. We'll be there to help Dee handle the arrangements, but maybe it's best that our final memories will be of the man who was proud to see his son and thrilled to meet his granddaughter.