We gathered around as “wine” was passed about along with bread torn away from its crusty fibrous center. It was Sunday and as with any Sunday there are only a couple of places where a majority of civilization spends its time. Church, Football, Baseball, Soccer, NASCAR, a child’s sporting event or surrounded by family and friends. Yes I know there are those who work on Sundays as well but it’s not my fault we have allowed our society to create this thriving need. Plus that is a topic for whole different rant.
We were lucky enough to have nailed two of those listed. As the entire Franceschi family came into Stanford to visit their mother, Ms. Jacy, we were greeted by a much welcome visit from the Pastor of our church. It had been awhile since we were able to go to church and with Jacy being at Stanford for 5 months now Pastor Cathy was a welcome sight indeed! Saying our hello’s we laughed, hugged and welcomed her into Jacys little room in E wing. After some conversation it seemed like no better time to get a little serious and read a few psalms, rejoice in each other’s glorious presence and take communion. It was Sunday after all. So the “wine” was passed, the bread was torn (Parker exchanged his piece for a bigger one, Hmm gluttony?) and quietly, spiritually we took communion. After saying the Lord’s Prayer I was filled with so much inner joy, my heart felt overwhelmingly full.
It is hard getting all the children to Stanford at the same time. Cody has a job, Jake runs like his dad in three directions at once so Parker and Jess are always the easiest to corral for a little mother child visitation. On this Sunday though everything fell into place. Cody was ready to go the second he arrived home from work and the other three quickly followed suit. Our afternoon was filled with talk about Christmas lists for the kids, discussions about grades and the condition of all our much cared for animals. Jacy is longing for home, it is in her eyes; she misses every little thing about the Blue Sky Ranch from riding horses to weeding, from cleaning up hay in the barn to playing with her dogs but most of all she misses cleaning stalls. Good hard work, where the only reward she receives is watching a horse stroll in, sniff the fresh shavings and flop on their side for a good roll! Job well done.
Cody and Jake went for a walk about the Stanford campus while the four of us watched a movie together. Pastor Cathy was still fresh in my mind, so my quiet voice was whispering a little prayer to God. A prayer of peace and thanksgiving for this very moment my eyes were a party too. Seeing Parker curled up in his mommas lap while watching the movie; I knew in my heart it was just what Jacy needed. A peaceful respite from being poked, prodded, tested and manipulated by strangers. Just a mother surrounded by her children with the littlest one in her lap. Nothing could be more heavenly.
Upon returning an hour and half later the boys regaled us with tales of exploration across the massive Stanford campus. The place was more than they expected and Cody even quipped; why didn’t you take me here when I was looking into colleges? Yep he thought Stanford was pretty cool and I would have to agree. Of course I also couldn’t let him dream to big without reminding him of the annual tuition to attend such a revered university. (Roughly $64,000.00) Of course his retort was sharp and to the point. Uh scholarships??? I cannot tell a lie, for a moment I pondered my son attending Stanford and it made me a bit giddy! But then really it becomes about me being able to walk around stating “my son attends Stanford” and well that just sounds pompous.
A few more laughs were had at Jakes expense which is pretty normal in our family and then it was time to go. The kids all said their goodbyes, kissed their momma, stripped off their gowns and headed to the family room. Jacy decided she wanted to go for a walk while I was there and we made two laps around the quad before she became too exhausted to continue. One more goodbye was had by all the children and I slowly escorted her back into her room.
Saying goodbye is always the hardest part. It just feels so wrong to leave this woman who I adore alone in a room without me there to take care of her. But we do it time and again. It is always a long drive home for me. My brain never shuts off, I feel like I am abandoning her and it tears up my insides. Sunday was no different, with the exception that I actually smiled most of the way home knowing we had not just a good day together as a family, but a great day filled with love, God and all the trappings (short of a home cooked meal) a Sunday should bring.
For moment in a very long time; life was good….