When I've answered, "Where were you guys?" with "Mississippi." every person has said something like, "Oh, fun!" or "Did you have fun?" or "I wish I could get away for a weekend." as if he/she is jealous of my excursion. Let me clear this up right now. Since I moved from the glorious mirage-like hamlet that is Oxford, MS, I have not had fun in that state. My family is full of loony bigots who think that I am a total crazy for not loving Mississippi and the legacy that it carries and for not wanting to continue that legacy and "What do you mean you don't want your children around me?" My dad fancies himself a progressive. That's a story for another day. So the short answer is NO!, I didn't have fun.
My grandfather is dying. He's in the last stages of Alzheimer's. He didn't know me. I'm glad I went and saw him, but it was horrible.
I didn't get to see Sissy. My folks wouldn't let her come with us to the zoo and she decided to not come with our dad when I met with him. I don't know what's going on.
My dad has promised a new passion for our relationship. I'm a big sucker and said OK. Again. He breaks my heart. I really do think he loves me. But he's boy, a stupid boy. I keep giving him a pass for that handicap but then end up expecting more of him than any boy has ever been capable of. And then I am crushed. Again. So we'll see.
BUT . . .It was made bearable by the 5 faces that went with me. Our kids LOVE a road trip. They each pack their car bags with treasured toys and books and whatever little activity pack I let them con me into buying. (This time it was those reusable stickers and landscape boards. Never again.) We get a new audiobook for each trip and the kids revel in it. This time I proudly announced the title as, "The Tale of Despereaux." Shrieks of excitement.
And Dawn, perfect Dawn. She spent the entire trip taking up my slack with the children. She did it without a sigh or complaint. She missed no opportunity to tell me that I am big and strong and that I am doing a great job and not to worry we were going home soon and that she was going with me and would be with me forever and ever and that I have a new family now that loves me and Becca, look at those kids - look how happy they are - we live for them now, not these crazies.
All of this to say - Mississippi sucks, but after being there I am always refreshingly reminded of how much I love my Dawn and our children and my house and Florida and my dog and all of her cohorts. I choose life. And I'm really happy.