After our vacation in Florida, I ventured back to Wisconsin for the weekend to be with my family on the anniversary of Joel’s passing. November 22nd is always around Thanksgiving, and it’s a perfect time to be with family. I try not to think specifically about the anniversary per say, but rather that this time of year is an excellent opportunity to be in Wisconsin with my parents and family. That is what life is all about, right?
In these moments, I try to focus on what makes life important – visiting with friends, family and spending some quality time with Joel’s nephew, Drew. We made a stop at Grandma Marsh’s where Drew was able to learn the intricacies of patty-cake from Aunt Nanny. He was calm on Grandma’s lap and had lots of time to bond with Great Grandma Marsh.
Next, we went to lunch with Aunt Lyssa. They were dressed as twins and Lyssa let Drew play with his first set of criss cut fries – a Jackson Point special. It was so nice to catch up on all that was going on with Lyssa. She is recently engaged and I needed to get all the wedding planning details. I seriously could not be happier for the two of them. I am so thrilled to begin this part of our lives together. First we were middle school and high school study partners and wannabe trouble makers slash jokesters, college roommates, and the best friend and lady in my wedding. I am so excited for Lyssa to get married. It’s hard to control myself!
Finally we were able to spend a few moments bonding with Drew’s older cousin Ollie – it is a tradition, every time we are back in Wisconsin, that we need to meet up so these cousins can grow up together. Drew is the oldest on the Anderson side and one of the youngest on my parent’s side of our large extended family. Ollie is the closest in age to my main man, so we need to make sure they can grow up and cause trouble together!
It was a nice few days back with family. We went back to Pittsburgh, after buying a few bags of cheese curds in the airport and a cheesehead for Drew. It was back to work for a few days to catch up on all that I had missed after being out of town for a few days. I worked the week and we packed up again to go to Cleveland for Thanksgiving. It was a whirlwind of travel. I know Buck wouldn’t have had it any other way. Joel is known for being able to pack a lot of life, travel and good times into a short amount of time. I was just trying to pull everything together in his honor.
Right now, I am thinking of all who read this blog. I hope you allow life to lead you down the most rewarding and fulfilling paths. My favorite saying recently is “life is too short”. I hope we can all live our lives out this way. Enjoy every moment with one another. Let grief transform your life into something you could never have imagined possible. It is a wonderful ride, and lets hope we never take any moment for granted.