This past week has been my usual week off with my girls before school starts. It’s always proceeded by our annual trip up to the Chattanooga area to visit my great Aunt Livy for her birthday. This year she hit the big 9-0. It’s an eight hour drive one way and a relatively short trip, but worth every minute of the drive for Aunt Livy. I adore my Aunt Livy; she’s been my rock for as long as I can remember. She taught me how to play poker when I was seven, and according to my husband, how to cheat (he’s a very sore loser). She shared with me her love of photography, and her love of animals, dachsunds in particular. And she’s been my history, our family storyteller.
This year, for the first time, I heard the weariness in her voice. After we took the picture above, I sat down next to her and just talked quietly for a few minutes, asking her how she’s really feeling. And for the first time, she told me she’s finally feeling her age, and she feels like her body is breaking down. That literally broke my heart. I know the day will come when I no longer have her in my life here on Earth, and Lord knows, I’ve been dreading that day but I’m just not ready for it yet. Each year when we say goodbye, I say a prayer that I’ll see her same time next year, and drive away with tears in my eyes. You can read more about Aunt Livy in some of these posts.
After our visit, spending the week with the girls at home was just what I needed. We truly accomplished nothing more than just hanging out. And it was just what we needed! We cut up several Glamour magazines and made funny little collages, we went to the beach twice, we ran errands, we ate out at our favorite lunch spot, and we drove up to the Gate station every afternoon for an Icee. A perfect summer week. I took the picture above of the girls while we were in Chattanooga, sharing their Icee tongues. I took the picture below last year while on the same trip. What a difference a year makes! And tomorrow is the first day of third grade!