Friday, July 15, 2011

I’m on Summer Break! Part I

When I asked for summer break I had a reason……..

I knew that it would be tough getting through major emotional events during this month and needed to help myself and my family cope. Being with each other is the best way we support each other for there is comfort in the presence of loving family. For sure, we love each other and feel nourished when we meet.

The first hurdle……Walter’s birthday on July 4. Little did I realize how much this would mean to me. I invited my sons and sister in law over like normal to have a BBQ. We had two guests come that turned out to have good attitudes and be enjoyable to be around. If anything, they kept our spirits up. One was a 10 yr old 6th grader. Instead of playing board games, the boys got out the Wii and played bowling and Mario to entertain our guest. The rest of us played with the grandkids, lounged around in the patio swing and read quietly until my 4 yr old granddaughter couldn’t take the waiting any longer and we lit up the fireworks in front of our house. Certainly, we missed Walter and we didn’t sing Happy Birthday to You this year. We will now have to remember that it is Independence Day, but in our hearts it will always be Dad’s birthday.

After such a nostalgic holiday, my two youngest adult sons and I planned to get away a few days in Las Vegas. We wanted to see some shows. This was a very special treat. One of my son’s has been playing in an orchestra for some community theatre shows on his summer break, so he was looking forward to being entertained rather than entertaining. We saw the Blue Man Show, which was very funny and interactive. At one point, the audience pushed yards and yards of toilet paper sized streamers from the back of the threatre to the front of the stage. It looked like a sea of white water covering the audience….what fun!!! Blue Men are three mime drummers that are very good. They use neon colored special effects and make up funny skits that involve the audience in them. I highly recommend their show.

The second show was “The Phantom”. I saw the Broadway production of “The Phantom of the Opera” in Los Angeles a few years back. For the Las Vegas show, they reduced it from a 3 ½ hr to a two-hour one-act program. The costumes and sets were great. The singing and music was wonderful too. However, I didn’t feel the emotional involvement with this production as with the original. I think that the cut in some scenes, sacrificed some of the emotion and compassion development that is involved in the show. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but have tears for the song, “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again”. I just thought of Walter.

Diana and the Blue M & M

Scott & Diana in the Venetian Hotel

Diana near the Lion's Den at MGM

Robby & Scott say "Cheese"

New York, New York-Las Vegas Style

Las Vegas Palazzo at night

The rest of the time we spent swimming in the lovely pool at Hard Rock Hotel, browsing the various Las Vegas Strip Casinos and shopping at MGM, Escalibur, Luxor, Venetian, Treasure Island and New York, New York. The boys couldn’t get away without riding the Roller Coaster. Our last stop was the M &M shop and I found the Blue M & M! There were four floors of M & M stuff!

So now I am preparing to do one of the final acts I have as a widow….laying Walter’s ashes to rest. Its almost a year now. I think it is time to give the family some closure and to give me permission to move on with my life. Although I have mixed feelings about this and to some extent I feel I am still grieving, people tell me this is normal. On the 19th, there will be a private gravesite gathering for family to pay final respects. The view is beautiful overlooking the San Gabriel Valley, where Walter and I grew up. This will be our final resting place.