Monday, July 18, 2011

I Took A Walk Around The World To Ease My Troubled Mind

Title of this post was taken from the song Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down.
We are home from our trip. I would love to post pictures, but my computer is so SLOW! Seriously it took me five minutes just to load this page so I could write this post...sigh. Each night I wrote down some thoughts from that day. I'm going to use those to tell you about our trip.

Tuesday, July 12 - We finally got settled into our hotel around 5:00. The kids are swimming as I sit here and write. We had a safe trip. The GPS took us on a scenic route, but it worked out okay. I've only cried twice today. Once on the drive here, I got overwhelmed with the thoughts of doing all of this alone. The second time came out of nowhere and I'm kicking myself now that I look back on it. We went to the store once we arrived so that we could pick up some snacks and drinks to keep in our room. As we were leaving a guy had a table set up and was "giving" away tickets to a small water park. I stopped at his table and he said he would give us all free tickets to the park if we could commit to taking an hour tour of one of their properties. The rest of the conversation went like this.

Sales guy: So, is your husband here with you.

Me: No

Sales guy: We prefer that a spouse take the tour with you. Is he still in the store?

Me: No (This is when it starts. I can feel my face turning red as if I have something to be embarrassed about.)  

Sales guy: Well, will he be joining you?

Me: No, I wish. (I can feel my eyes start to fill with tears, and I look away hoping that this will keep them from spilling onto my cheeks.)

Sales guy: Oh, did he have to work?

Me: He passed away in April. (Despite my better efforts, and how hard I'm biting the inside of my cheek, the tears win.)

Sales guy: Oh, I am so sorry. I didn't mean...I didn't know...I'm so sorry ma'am.

I pulled myself together and walked away. Why in the world do I do that?! I can talk about the fact Mike has passed away with my family or friends, but when I have to tell a stranger I lose it. It happens every time. What is the deal? Anyway, I'm enjoying watching the kids swim. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 13 - So, today we went to WonderWorks. The kids loved it. They had a lot of really cool exhibits, and I enjoyed a lot of the art work and illusions. The kids played laser tag, and seemed to have a blast shooting me. Now the kids are swimming, and I'm putting down this pencil to read a book. Today, was a good day.

Thursday, July 14 - AH! My birthday. The kids only mentioned happy birthday once, and so we managed to ignore it for the most part. We went to the Dixie Stampede for dinner, had to do it sorry Mikie. The kids found it amusing and fun. They seemed to enjoy eating with their fingers more than they enjoyed the show. I cried this morning as I watched other dads swimming with their kids. I usually block out these picture perfect scenes when I stumble upon them, but it was harder than normal today. 

Friday, July 15 - We went to Dollywood today. Overall it was okay. Not the thrill seeking amusement park that I would have picked for myself, but there were rides that the kids enjoyed. I managed to make myself mad early in the day as we were standing in line for a ride. Mason, my social butterfly, started talking to the guy behind us. The guy asked where we were from and all of the sudden Mason says "Do you know what happened to my dad?" CRAP! I can feel it again, my face starts to turn red, my eyes fill with tears, and I bite the inside of my cheek to try and keep myself from crying. The guy politely asked what happened, and Mason simply said "He died." This leaves me to at least offer a small explanation and this guy had no idea how to reply. So there we were standing in a line that wasn't about to end and there is this awkward silence because what do you say to that. I hate that these sudden moments bring this out in me. I try so hard to keep myself composed in public, and it makes me mad that I do this. I allow total strangers to see a side of me that I don't want to share. I allow them to see me cry, grrrr. 
     My favorite part of the whole day was the Gazillion Bubble Show. Deni Young was the bubble performer. Yang’s family holds the Guinness World Record for the largest bubble wall, which measured 156 fee long and 13 feet high. Many of you probably do not know of my love for bubbles. I've always been fascinated with them. They are beautiful, colorful and happy. Stop reading this like I'm a crazy person. I had so much fun watching him fill bubbles with smoke, and then blow bubbles inside of bubbles, and the bubble machines that filled the stage with bubbles was amazing. I want to be a professional bubble blower when I grow up...and you think I'm kidding :). See this sounds stupid as I type this, but Mike understood this silly side of me and that's part of why he loved me. Most people just give me that look that says "Yep, she's a few fries short of a happy meal." Heck, even my own kids thought I was a little off for enjoying this show so much.  

Saturday, July 16 - We went into Gatlinburg to see the Ripley's Aquarium. It was fun, but after Discovery Cove in Florida the kids really weren't that impressed. I mean who cares about touching a stingray when they were able to swim with them. It was fun enough though. Kids are swimming now.

So, there was a quick run down of our trip. We are heading to Myrle Beach on Thursday, and will return on Monday. This time I'm going with my brother, sister, and niece. The kids can't wait. It's been good to get away. My summer is slowly disappearing, and I'm sad. I must say we are making the most of it, and that makes me happy. I'm determined to make memories with the kids, and give them fun things to talk about once they go back to school. 

Oh! I almost forgot. I wanted to share what was probably the best conversation with Mason all week, and it happened in the bathroom. I had told him three times to try and use the bathroom before we left and he kept insisting that he didn't have to. I finally told him he had to try or we weren't leaving. As he is in the bathroom he screams "Mom, you are always right! I really did have to go! How come you know these things? You are always right." Love it!


lyndsey said...

Oh, Mason is such a great kid! The trip sounds like a ton of fun, it's so wonderful you were able to do it.

Your posts on facebook never seemed like self promotion - it's just the way people connect these days. Online communities are a great source of support and a wonderful way for people to come together. I love your blog and I really appreciate your life insights. Thank you for sharing.

Darrell said...

I had no idea there was such a thing as professional bubble blowing! That's pretty wild.

I didn't think your FB blog links were self promotion, and I was always glad to see a link there so I'd know you had something new up. But I can remember to check the blog on it's own as well. Please do keep writing.

Melanie said...

Thanks guys. I just feel like people are going to get tired of my posts, and I don't want to feel like I'm pushing myself on anyone. Maybe I'm over thinking this.

Darrell - Yes, professional bubble blowing, who knew!

Niven said...

I love bubbles too. Totally didn't read it like you were crazy. You described them really well. Now I want to go see this show. Who know you could make a living from blowing bubbles? Again, I left to question the role of my high school guidance counselors.

Kate said...

Melanie, PLEASE keep writing! it helps me be close to you know I am still grieving over the loss of my beloved brother..I love reading about you, the kids and ESPECIALLY about Mike...Do it for me,yourself, and all of the people who love all of you..It's therapy for you and you need an outlet to let your feelings out. Love you guys!!!

Melanie said...

Niven - I'm not the only one! Glad to know someone who likes bubbles as much as I do :)

Kate - Oh, I won't stop posting. I just worry that people get tired of me putting it on FB. No, I need this place to share my feelings.

Jill said...

I'm not ever going to tire of your posts. I'm glad your trip was nice.