April 6th marked the 2 year anniversary of James' death. Last year I was sick, and really kind of down for the count. (Which was probably pretty timely, actually... to not have to face that day head-on.)
One of James' favorite things to do EVER (which a dear friend reminded me after a fever induced dream...) was to take the girls, and whisk them away to Disneyland. He took them several times, usually last minute, and just beamed being able to take his girls to something like that.
The girls and I had talked for weeks about how we'd like to spend the day. Maybe go to a movie. Go to the park. Go eat at daddy's favorite restaurant. Bring things to his grave. Have a good cry. Look through photo albums. Release balloons with notes. The list went on and on...
But I felt the NEED to do something else. Something BIG and really unexpected. The girls and I never made final plans about Friday, we just left it that I'd need to see if I was able to get off work early on Friday. Thursday night I told the girls I didn't know if I could get off work early Friday, and so I proposed that we get up REALLY early the next morning and go have breakfast with the sunrise and celebrate daddy James. I didn't tell that what time. Because I like to think I'm sneaky sneaky. :)
At 3am Friday morn, Nick and I got up, and finished packing. We got the girls up about 4, and rolled them out of bed. (They were on spring break.) We purposely didn't tell them what awful time in the morning it was. We drove through our little town, and darn it, no restaurants were open, nor the next town, or the next. Shoot. Maybe we're going to have to drive a little bit farther to find breakfast. I told Nick he should drive to the next town and 'keep looking' and then turned back to the girls, trying to pretend to make the most of the time, and asked what their silly daddy would have done? Where would he have gone to breakfast? What were the other fun off the wall things he liked to do? And what did he like to do last minute? Let's think of all those funny things right now as a way to start our celebration. And lo and behold, don't you know, they remembered Disneyland was one of his faves, and theirs too. "How fun," I said. "We should really go to Disneyland sometime and remember daddy. That'd be super fun, wouldn't it?" Oh yes, they said. Too bad I wasn't able to get off work, and that it's too far away, that'd be something really special to do on a day like today..... Heh. I win. I totally WIN.
"Well, then... let's go!" WHAT!?!?!?! I should have taken a picture of their wide little eyes, and sparkle, the excitement well up... it was A.MAZ.ING.
We did stop to have breakfast a few hours later as the sun was coming up. Told lots of great stories and ate lots of super yummy, greasy, sugary breakfast foods until we couldn't eat any longer.
It was a fantastic trip. Short and sweet, made of so much excitement. And then the final piece was for the girls to each pick out a little Disneyland trinket that daddy would have really liked, and when we drove home on Saturday, we went right to James' grave before anything else, and put our gifts there to be with him, and thank him for all the great memories we have.
Pictures below. :)