More on my trip to Phoenix last week. After my grandma's service, we had a nice reception at the church with lots of food, fond memories, grandma's favorite deserts including a lemon cake that she loved, and of course time for family. Afterwards we went over to my grandpa's house, where we ate more food and had time to catch up with one another. I sat on the floor and looked through my grandma's photo albums. She was so organized with her photos, it has inspired me to get better about not just keeping online albums, but real photos albums you can touch and flip through.
The next day, we got up and went on a 4 mile hike through the Sonoran Desert Trail, the same one my parents did for Colin's heart walk. We even got to see the flag they planted, it was still there. The hike took us a little over two hours. At some points, I realized how out of shape I really am. Yes I am active with the kids, we go for walks, we do chase around the house and backyard, and wagon rides.. BUT I don't climb mountains on a regular basis. I have a new found respect for how much hiking and exercise my parents do with their "retired" life. No wonder why my mom is so tone and fit, my legs were sore for TWO days after the hike.
But the hike was more than just a hike, it was very cleansing to the soul. After such a hard day at the memorial service, it was very therapeutic to get out into nature, to breathe fresh, clean mountain air, to not hear city noises, and to spend time with my parents and brother in such a unique setting. It was physically challenging at times, which was great to burn off some of the emotional stress, the sadness and anger of losing my grandma to cancer. Cancer robbed her of her youth, I say youth because even at 83, she was strong before the cancer took over. When we went a year ago, my grandma went hiking with us, went to the zoo, went shopping, she was youthful. It was great to get out and feel the sunshine and know that in spirit she was walking right along with us. It was nice to hear silence and have time for my mind, heart, and soul to so some "thinking".
That afternoon we went back to my grandpa's house with my extended family, grilled hamburgers, went to the pool and hot tub and even had some good laughs. Then next morning, it was off to the airport and home to my family which I missed a great deal. This was the longest I have been away from Colin. He sure was clingy when I got back :). I missed my family a lot while I was gone but so glad I made the trip.