There are things I won't forget about this weekend with my mom, my grandpa, and my step-grandma.
I wasn't expected to be there. My mom had said that she didn't need anyone to be with her, but I knew she was wrong and that she would. But if I said I was coming, she'd just hem and haw and feel guilty, so I just decided that I would go without telling her. And if I was already there when she found out, she couldn't very well send me home 2 1/2 hours since I'd come all that way, right? So, when I walked in the door, she was a little surprised...
I won't forget that.
Mostly because it's destined to become a little joke between my mom and I, I certainly won't forget the Mexicans. Oh, those poor Mexicans. My grandparents are good people... but they're almost 90, and set in their ways and opinions. Not really any use arguing with them... not much point to it. After this long, they're aren't apt to be swayed, so my general code of conduct for visits is to employ "smile and nod." This works awesome for short 4-hour visits. Apparently, I am not quite as good at keeping it up for three-day visits. It was sorely tested with the Mexicans.
For some reason, just about every national and local problem can be laid at the feet of the Mexicans. Health care, economy, education. You name it, those darned Mexicans are responsible for it. The first few times, my eyes probably widened... but smile and nod, Jo. Smile and nod. I managed to continue it for the "Do YOU have any Mexicans in your neighborhood?" I came THIS close to answering "No, we live in Redmond. It's very well-to-do, and there's a city ordinance that bans them from taking up residence" but managed to conquer the urge.
It was the second day when we were apparently complaining about the food in the grocery store that I just about lost it. It was a perfectly normal conversation... apparently, all the food is too spicy. "They are FORCING us to buy spicy food. We aren't ALL Mexicans, you know." I couldn't help it! I laughed out loud. I wasn't expecting it in this particular conversation, and I just couldn't help it. From that point on, every time anything came up, my brain would go "I bet he's Mexican." That's terrible, I know. lol This might be a "you had to be there" thing.
But, I won't forget that, either.
So, perhaps, it is fitting that after my mom had said Goodbye to him, I went in to sit on his bed to say my own. There was no sobbing today. But there were tears. I don't think he wanted me to see him cry, but I think it was not-wrong to hug him, to lay my cheek on his chest with my arms around his neck, and tell him it was okay to cry. It's hard to know how to pack all the I'm sorrys, and all the memories, and all the Iloveyous into one tear-filled conversation. But, when I left, I think he knew I loved him
And I certainly won't forget that either.