This weekend has been a busy one... My baby sister turned 21 yesterday. We had a roller skating party, which I think was a FABULOUS idea!! Oh my goodness, it was so much fun. It was so neat to get on skates after at least 25 years and skate like I never stopped. We were there for about 3 hours and I probably skated for a solid two hours of that, if not a little more. So much fun.
Afterwards we all went to Chili's for her birthday dinner and drinks. There was food and drinks and laughter and silliness all around. When they brought the cake out and Jenni blew out the candles, her excitement over turning 21 faded and she cried. Jenni and my dad always celebrated their birthdays together since they were just 2 days apart. After dinner, some of us went to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa and had more fun. Jenni had the most fun of all, you can only imagine, I'm sure... The night ended very late!
Today we went to the Bay Pines VA Cemetery as a family to celebrate my dad's birthday, a day early so we could go together. It was tough. It's an odd feeling to wish someone a Happy Birthday and not be able to hug them or have a conversation with them. To have always celebrated birthdays together makes it very surreal to all of a sudden not. It is the first birthday since his passing. The 4th day of the 4th month of the year, which is 4 months since his passing.
It was so nice to be there with Mike, Mommy, Nick, Jenna, Autumn, Jenni, and Nile - together to honor my dad. There were tears and there was laughter. One thing I've learned since losing my dad is that my emotions can be extreme and can change quickly. Overwhelming doesn't quite explain it.
So it was a bittersweet weekend, indeed. I am exhausted, physically and emotionally. But I am glad we spent the weekend together. There is power in togetherness and being a family.