We spent the long Memorial Day weekend in Florida with my family! I’ll break it down to the top 5 highlights…
Highlight #1: Baby Beckett! Lindsey, Ryan, Jackson & Baby Beckett spent all weekend with us and I seriously could not get enough newborn snuggles. Beckett is the most perfect little babe and was the center of attention all weekend long…
Look who it is…my brother Ian!
Highlight #2: Family Pool Day! We had the most perfect pool day filled with sunshine, mimosas, fights over the red squirt gun and pouring cups and cups of water out of the pool.
Uncle Nick never misses a party. Always a fun time!
Highlight #3: Saturday Steak Dinner Tradition: Dad perfectly cooked us all steaks on Saturday, a Sandroni family tradition.
Highlight #4: Besties + Babies! I got to see 4 out of 5 of my Orlando bridesmaids while I was home which is pretty freaking awesome. My sister and I went over to Ashley’s house to meet her sweet little baby girl! Afterwards, my besties Shannon & Staci came over to hang out and drink chardonnay.
Highlight #5: Despite being on the outs with the Big Man, going to church with my dad was one of my favorite parts of the weekend.
And that was a wrap on Florida! Caroline and I will be returning in a few weeks to spend more time with dad. Then I’ll return with Thomas next. We’re rotating kids and family flights so we can affordably take as many trips down as possible! Let the countdown to the next trip begin!
For those of you who came for the cute baby pictures and highlight reel, you can go ahead and click out of the rest of this post. I may get a little angry…you’ve been warned…
For those of you who asked about my dad, he’s hanging in there. I don’t think anything can really prepare you for watching your parent battle cancer. Although I receive the daily reports from my sister and my mom on chemo updates, blood tests, scan results, additional health issues and more, it still sends a shock wave through my body when I walk through the door at home and see my dad in his very fragile and hazy state.
It’s hard for him to get up from the couch now and he only does it out of necessity. He exclusively uses a walker, but for longer distances he needs a wheelchair. However, he pushed himself hard while we were there. I know it takes more out of him than he let on but the first day he sat by the pool with us for a little bit to watch the grandbabies splash around. The next day he grilled steaks. The following day he made it to church for the first time in awhile. And on our last day he sat on the front porch with us for a bit before we left for the airport.
While we were there I tried to stay strong in front of dad and not break down into hysterical sobs every time I held his hand on the couch. I found myself trying to memorize what his hands felt like, record his voice in my head and remember his warm brown eyes, which thankfully he gave me.
One night after we put the kids to bed dad asked us to shave his head. Matt was brave enough to raise his hand, for which I was so grateful, and he did it with the most graceful and perfect humor during the too quiet moments. But inside I wanted to die as I stood on the sidelines silently vacillating between extreme sadness and intense rage with each stroke of the clippers running through his thinning brown hair.
So yeah, cancer sucks and I wish I had a more positive update to share, but we’re dealing with real life. And it’s hard. Like harder than anything I’ve ever been through…and I’ve had a mastectomy and been told my child is blind.
So if you wouldn’t mind, please continue to say a prayer for dad (and mom too while you’re at it).