It was a beautiful weekend--perfect for walking the golf course, chatting with with my mom and aunt, watching my uncle bond with Jason, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air, and watching my cousin play! She was tied for fourth place after the first round on Saturday, but would have been in the lead if not for a few bad strokes on the 18th hole.
After the golf we grabbed lunch at Savoury Lane, a small café in West Acton, Mass. I had one of the specials, a Mediterranean wrap with fresh veggies, hummus, and couscous--delicious and vegan! They also had a tasty-sounding regular menu, which I'd love to try if we ever make our way back to the area. I even grabbed a few goodies from their gourmet treats display for my Pay-It-Forward contest (which I'll write about in the next few days)!
After lunch my uncle went back to their hotel to rest while my aunt, mom, cousin and I went prom dress shopping in sales tax-free Nashua, New Hampshire. We struck out at the mall, so headed to one of my favorite places: David's Bridal, where I got my wedding and maid of honor dresses. My cousin tried on a few duds, then found a strapless hot pink ball gown with a sweetheart neckline, silver embroidery on the bodice, and a big poofy tulle skirt. This was the one! It was so cute to see her sashaying around the bridal salon in her Barbie-esque dress--she pulled off the look perfectly, and I can't wait to see pictures from the big day--I'm sure she'll be awestriking. Oh, to be a teenager again! The picture on the right is from my third prom, which I went to during my freshman year of college (my boyfriend at the time was younger). Goodness, I wish I were still that thin. That night we went back to the hotel they were staying at for dinner, where we got to watch part of a Mexican wedding going on in the pool area. They apparently played odd music late into the night. Luckily it didn't seem to have an effect on my cousin's game the next morning.
She clawed her way back to the top of the leader board in Sunday's round, and ended up tied for first place--which meant she had to play in a sudden death playoff to determine the champion! We were waiting around in the clubhouse for them to add up the scores, and I had just ordered a drink from the bar when they announced the playoff. We all piled on to the waiting golf cart and zipped back to the first hole. It was all I could do to keep my drink from spilling the way my uncle was driving that thing--and it didn't help that I was perched on the back clinging to the area where the golf bags are supposed to be kept! They tied on the first playoff hole, but on the second hole the other girl hit her ball into the sand trap. My cousin made her putt, and it was over--she won the whole thing! I was so proud, and thrilled that I got to see such a victory since I don't live close enough to watch her play regularly. After the awards ceremony the whole gang came over to our place to see the digs, look at our wedding album, and meet our cats. We had a victory dinner at my favorite restaurant in Dracut, Owen and Ollie's.
All in all, a great weekend. I came away with only a slight farmer tan sunburn on my arms and down my cleavage. Ever since I got second-degree burns while sitting outside during March back in college, I've been super careful about sun exposure. This time I used Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 40 and Burt's Bees Vanishing Facial Powder (which has apparently been discontinued, boo) on my face and Burt's Bees Chemical-Free Sunscreen SPF 15 on the rest of me. All cruelty-free and worked like a charm, although next time I'll go for a higher SPF than 15 for my body. My boobs itch!
I found a neat heart-shaped rock whilst traipsing around the golf course. It was a bittersweet discovery: last week I found out that my mom needs to have open heart surgery to repair a dilated aorta. Basically, one of the tubes leading into/out of her heart is stretched out too much, and if left alone, would likely tear over time--like a deflated balloon does when you stretch it. People generally don't survive that, so surgery it is. Since I live closer to her than the rest of my family does, I'm going to be very involved in all of this. On Thursday I'm spending the day with her in order to take her to a pre-surgery doctor's appointment. The surgery is tentatively scheduled for May 13--the day before my sister's birthday.
Dealing with your parents' mortality is tough. My dad is having back surgery at the end of May, and already had neck surgery in January. My stepmom is an awesome nurse who has helped my dad through multiple surgeries, so I know he is in good hands. So far I've been strong and business-like about my mom's surgery. Falling apart won't do anyone any good, and my mom is counting on me to be a big part of her support system--her rock, she said. I just don't know how long practical Heidi will stay around before emotional Heidi comes to take her place. I'm confident that my mom's surgery will go fine, and I'll be here to take care of her during her recovery, along with at least three other family members, so I know she won't lack TLC. Still, though, I never thought that at age 25 I'd be discussing my mom's will and the possibility that she might not survive. According to her cardiologist, only 2 percent of people having this surgery die, and they're usually older folks whose bodies don't work well anymore. Still, that's two people out of every hundred who go in to have (what the cardiologist says is) a relatively simple procedure who never wake up. I've always talked very frankly with my mom regarding her feelings about end-of-life plans, so this sort of talk doesn't upset me--it's just so much more difficult when it's not a hypothetical, "please remember this when I'm old" conversation.
I think I'll give my mom that heart-shaped rock. She has been my rock for 25 years, and I'm glad I can be hers now.