Flashback Friday; A Mixed Bag

imageBittersweet Flashback Friday to four years ago: We were just about to leave our precious Berg-By-The-Sea in L.A.’s SouthBay to fulfill a request from the hubs’ parents to live closer to them (turned out to be living with them for awhile).

These photos are from our girl-child’s last adaptive soccer game she played, not two miles inland from the ocean sand, and The Dude, who watched from the sidelines because, “doncha think kicking the same ball over and over again is a little repetitive?”

We humans always claim we want to know what lies ahead on our journey, but really we can’t know, because unless it turns out to be unicorns and fairy dust most of us would hide under our beds and never come out. I know I would have.

What lay ahead for us was the discovery of unmanaged and unchecked mental illness and dementia in the hubs’ father, for which my hubs was immediately blamed but over which he had no control, and unfathomable judgements and attacks on us by his family, almost from our first day there. But even as we embarking on a stormy “Three Hour Tour”, we found an amazing church family who became the first body of believers who completely embraced our little tribe and adored our children and loved them without judgement. When my in-laws couldn’t be bothered to visit their awesome grandson in the hospital after major surgery only six months after we moved there, that church rallied around us, waited with us during the surgery, and cooked meals for us for days afterwards.

Someone who was in charge of some kind of baseball league practically forced us to sign our kids up two weeks after we got to town, even though we told her our son couldn’t catch a ball or run to save his life. More importantly, our daughter had just flat out refused to play on a team in one of the beach communities just a couple of miles from our house. At The Dude’s first at-bat he turned around to see a huge audience, walked up to the backstop fence and cheered for all of us and then clapped heartily for himself as he rounded the bases with his beautiful university softball athletes flanked on each side. All of us made friends through Challenger Baseball; a rec league that has changed our family forever.

I had to say goodbye to an amazing neighborhood knit shop just a block from our house in The Berg, filled with a wealth of technical know how and generous knitters who taught me so much in so little time, but I made room for new friends, one of whom is making her mark as an awesome indie dyer and for whom I have the deep honor of test knitting.

We had to say goodbye to the ocean air and our daily pilgrimages to the beach and I forced myself to bloom where I was planted taking hikes and making fun memories with my Sweet Girl.

Maybe one of the sweetest presents we got to unfold in OurTown was that the hubs finally got to bloom as one of the best minds in baseball as a high school coach and a committee member of The JUCO World Series. His players adored him and continue to reach out to him today and we spent some glorious days and nights watching hours and hours of college ball. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

It’s hard to believe that everything we went through after leaving our beautiful life by the sea was to prepare us for the hardest leg of our journey that we’re now feeling our way through, and that is, life without my dad.  And of course nothing could adequately prepare me for that.

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1 Comment

  1. Naomi

    Gigi, I love your perspective on life. You are an awesome Mom and friend, and woman. I love you, and your family!

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