Location: Oregon, United States

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Weeks 8 and 9

May 22.

This week brings a couple of cool things:

1.) I meet with a person re: volunteering at a drop-in center for youth and

2.) My parents come to visit/help with working on the house.

I called the woman I'd met at the homelessness forum and she directed me to a gal named Bridget that is currently running a drop-in center for youth in Hillsboro. It ends up Bridget is from Wisconsin, went to school at Gustavus and has a friend finishing the MSW program at St. Thomas. Okay, I knew the world was small, but really! We discussed my interests and the programs she is aware of, and agreed to meet Thursday.

When we meet, I find out that she had just been to a workshop in Portland and met one of my co-workers from YouthLink as well. She had actually considered working there if she
had stayed in Minneapolis. She is all excited about having a volunteer with my qualifications, and tells me the Youth Shelter is opening in September. I am all excited about being able to DO something and have a low-key way to check out the resources in the area. Also, the shelter opening in September may be promising - summer off, no worries, then back to work. Assuming there is a job there that would fit the bill(s). We arrange for me to begin after my folks go home again.

My mom and dad arrive Thursday evening. It is really good to see them! I am still amazed by how much we got done around here. I kept asking what they wanted to see here, and they acted offended - we are here to WORK, and work we did. Dad and I assembled bookcases for the family room, installed closet doors in Thomas' room (Ugh!), painted two bathrooms and William's bedroom, visited Lowe's each day, just to name a few. Mom filled in the gaps by doing dishes, laundry, cleaning, vacuuming, and spending time with the kids. We also ate and ate, and I was able to convince them to do SOME fun things like the farmer's market in the rain, the zoo, the arboretum and the Japanese Garden. We drove through the Pearl District and they loved that - Dad is dreaming about a condo there. The mountain peeked out from the clouds a TINY bit one day, but we decided maybe it was a mirage and there really is no mountain.

On the Friday before they leave, I notice my dad is no longer just working with me, but teaching me how to do things after he leaves. A very subtle change, but I begin to feel the loss immediately. I cry off and on without anyone knowing on Saturday until Paul asks me how I am doing as we get ready for bed. Then the tears just pour out. Ugh. It is almost taboo to grieve openly in my family, but I am determined to deal with it, so I talk about it with Mom on Sunday morning after breakfast. Dad comes in and out of the room and sees us crying together and stays very busy even though I assure him it is perfectly normal for us to be crying. Then he goes to Lowes again.

We putter around on a few projects that day and go shopping in a cute area we noticed earlier. The kids are ornery and crabby when we get back so Paul and I take them on a mandatory trip to the park. The kids have been mostly ignored by me (which equals more t.v. time) as I run around working on the house and getting dinner on the table, so the crabbiness is no surprise. Thank God, the trip to the park actually works and we have attitude adjustment. Then we all go to eat at a restaurant and say goodbye to my folks. Eating and saying goodbye would be a family tradition as well, I think. I don't see how we can enjoy the meal, but we do. And then we say goodbye, cry only a little in public, and go our separate ways.


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