Boy, what a week this has been! I am still exhausted even after two days now of trying to get my joints limbered up again, they're still aching like toothache.
This past Wednesday the agency that provides services for the grandkids has CenClear Day over at DelGrosso's Amusement Park. Since Mandy had to work, Gram was nominated to take Maya and Kurtis as well as older grandson, Alex, over there so they could have a day of fun in the sun and all that good stuff.
We left here around 11 a.m. and when we arrived at the park, stopped at Austin's Hot Dog place to grab something to eat first. Kurt's TSS, Miss Dawn, had him with her on the ride to Tipton so that way, she could kind of prep him a little bit to alleviate any of his little fears and such once we got into the park. We met up with Maya's TSS, Miss Britt, at the Hot Dog place to try to plan our attack, so to speak.
Five hot dogs, five beverages and almost $15.00 later for that small amount of refreshments and away we went to climb that seemingly never ending ramp to the overpass across Route 220 and into the park. We found the CenClear Pavilion and got registered and then, started down towards the rides and the "fun" of taking kids who think just a tad off-center at times began.
Kurtis was walking with me as we headed towards the rides when he suddenly stopped walking, began pulling hard on my arm, jumping around and screaming "No, No. No talk to Cat in the Hat! No talk to Winnie the Pooh!" and I was trying to figure out what the heck he was so upset about. I glanced around and then saw someone dressed as the lovely Cat In the Hat as well as someone else dressed as Winnie the Pooh and both were stopping to chat with children, giving hugs and such -things Kurtis was insisting then that he wanted to avoid. I asked him why he didn't want to see Cat in the Hat but initially, all I got from him was a repeat of the very adamant "NO, NO, No see Cat in the Hat!" Finally, after asking him why not, several times, he gave me his answer -"Because I Kurtis!" And I realized then he was repeating what we often say when he goes off on a tangent and refuses to participate in some things for no good reason and we usually just shake our heads and say "Go figure, it's just Kurtis being Kurtis, ya know!"
So, we moved off in a slightly different direction then and made darned sure we didn't encounter either of those characters at any time then in the park that day.
The kids did go on a few rides here and there with Kurtis starting off agreeing to go on the Wild Mouse with Miss Dawn and cousin, Alex. As they were getting into the car for that ride, Kurt had a bit of a panic-stricken look on his face and then, was holding his hands to his ears as there was apparently some noise that was emanating from something on the ride that annoyed him but by the time their car got moving along, I saw a smile coming across his face and when they arrived back at the starting point, he was all smiles, and very excited and happy.
So, one ride down and some of his fears alleviated. Also the fact that he didn't get sick on the ride was definitely a bonus too! (I'm always a bit concerned that might happen, ya know!)
Most of the next three hours then consisted of us slowly moving from one ride to another, surveying the kind of ride it was and discussing then with each of the kids as to whether or not they wanted to go on this ride or that one or some other one. I'm not sure what took up the most time though -discussing the potential ride, standing in line or actually getting on one and enjoying it! Overall, I think the slow moving between rides of our little group took up the bulk of our time.
Mandy had decided that on this trip to the park the kids could go into the Water Slide/Pool area before we left to come home. So, after they decided they'd had their fill of the rides, we headed to the "Castle" (a ticket stand) to purchase wristbands that would then allow them entrance into the Water Slide/Pool area.
The way the park operates, if you want to go into the Pool area, you have to first purchase a wristband for the park rides, which for each person attending from the CenClear group meant shelling out $5.00 per person and that band gave you unlimited access to the rides and was necessary too, whether you went on any rides or just walked along with the kids all day the way I did! So when we went to get the wristbands for the Pool area and had to purchase another wristband for each person just going into the pool area whether or not each person was actually going to go into the pool, I drew the line there and decided I wasn't going to purchase a wristband pass for myself to just go into the pool area and sit in the very hot, bright sunshine and bake myself to a crisp for at least an hour or so!
I felt guilty as sin though sitting well away from the pool area at a picnic table under a big canopy tent trying to rest my back and legs a little bit while poor Miss Dawn was stuck in the pool area trying to keep track of where those two younger kids were and what they were doing!
As I said above, we had wandered around the park and the kids were doing various rides then for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours when we decided to go to the water area. To get there, one has to then also go up that lovely (NOT) ramp to the overpass and down to the Water area which is located basically beside the parking area, so it was along the way out then for us.
And, as we were walking up that ramp, my legs and back were throbbing more and more in acute pain to the extent that I was beginning to think the only way I was going to get out of the park at all would require that I get down on my hands and knees and crawl up that damned ramp! Every. Single. Step. up that ramp had me in absolute misery!
Eventually, we decided the kids had had more than enough fun and games and both Miss Dawn and I were pretty well wrung out well before the kids ran out of steam and we left then around 4 p.m., arrived back at the house then around 5 p.m. where I pretty much collapsed in my comfy recliner and propped my legs up and fell asleep!
Miss Dawn and I both agreed that never again were we going to do the CenClear Day at DelGrossos' -especially on an extremely hot, hot, hot day such as it was this past Wednesday! (Never again for the water park area under any circumstances either!)
I semi-returned to life around 6:30 or so, but the legs and back were still aching something fierce when the phone rang and Mandy handed me the cordless phone then so I could talk to the caller without leaving my chair.
That was a call I never expected to receive at that point in time, for sure, as it was the younger sister of one of the members of our monthly lunch group.
She was calling to tell me that her sister, a very dear friend of mine since childhood, had passed away that morning -succumbing to the ravages of cancer that had only been diagnosed a little over a month earlier!
Now, I have to say that the others in our lunch group were totally knocked for that proverbial loop when our friend had called to tell us that she had just been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer of the colon AND liver so we did know the prognosis for her was poor, very poor. She had begun getting chemo treatments about two weeks ago and I knew too that the chemo was really slamming her very hard but still, none of ever expected the end to come that quickly!
It just totally amplified the physical pain I was experiencing from having spent the afternoon trying to walk all over that park area by adding the emotional pain of losing a very close, very dear friend. I made phone calls to some other friends -former classmates from our high school class -to deliver the news to them of this loss to our group and this news was every bit as shocking to them as it had been to me.
Knowing though how difficult the ordeal had become to her, in talking to her sister,we both agreed that we knew it was ultimately for the best that she had lost her fight when she did and therefore would not have to endure anymore suffering. Wrapping one's mind around that thought -difficult as it is to consider -is really the only way that the loss of someone such as she had always been -sweet, considerate, friendly to everyone, accepting a person as she had been even as a child and a teenager can be dealt with.
I know as a group our class will truly miss not having her among us any more and I'm sure too that each of us at the very least is grateful that we had the opportunity to have known her and counted her as a friend in each of our little circles or cliques from our school days.
Rest in peace, Linda and know that you will be sorely missed by each of us in our Lunch Group as well as within our entire class, as you were truly a friend to one and all of us.