We were doing some serious memory making last week while the boys and I were in Arizona. Here are some highlights..
While at the Out of Africa Park we hand fed giraffes, promised not to stick our hands outside the vehicle so the zebras wouldn’t chomp off our fingers (apparently it happens), Gress held a 10 foot boa constrictor and it licked him on the face, we watched all the carnivores get fed their dinner (imagine 30 lb raw turkeys being thrown over tall fences…AMAZING), learned way more than we ever can retain, and watched these amazing animal handlers love on all the animals. We were in awe the WHOLE time.
We visited the boys Great Grandmother and Great Pop Pop. I really hope and pray that the boys remember parts of how great these 2 people are. I always chuckle at my Pop Pop’s sayings. I really should have started writing them down years ago. Mcree was being his busy self and Pop Pop said, “he is like a fart in a whirlwind, or a flea on a skillet.” Too funny. It was hard to leave knowing that another year may pass before we see them again (and honestly praying I do get to see them again!).
I knew seeing my Nana was going to be hard because she wouldn’t recognize me but I knew it was important to see her. I had decided to not bring Gress but he begged to go, so we brought him. There were so many things about this visit that were unexpected. I loved seeing my dad’s genuine caring heart for his mom, even if she couldn’t recognize even him on that day, or hear him one bit. I loved the humor that radiated amongst the people in this place. My heart ached for my dad, knowing that soon, he will loose his mom. And the most beautiful thing from that day was watching Gressett with these older people. My dad and I watched with melting hearts as Gress made his way around the table to hug each person and stay in embrace until the people got enough of a hug, or told him how handsome he was, or finished telling their story, or squeezed his sweet face. My nana didn’t know we were there but that’s okay because I got to look at her one more time and my memories flooded my heart of moments from my childhood with her.
The main point of my visit was so that the boys could spend time with Mimi and Pop. Oh, so many fun memories made with each of them from exploring the desert and finding animal bones and a bird’s egg with Pop to picnicking in the park and being chased around by Mimi, to exploring more animals at another Zoo with Pop, to watching Gress’ favorite movie with Pop, to hanging at home with Mimi and getting lots of quality time with both of them.
I am so thankful for this opportunity and for the etched memories the boys now have from their time in Arizona.