We had planned to spend Easter weekend in Wisconsin. Knowing we would be on our way to California soon we wanted to spend as much time with Raun, Pam and the kids as possible. The car was rented and we loaded up on Friday morning. Raun and Pam were on their way back from the funeral in Indiana. It was snowing slightly in the city and the forecast called for large amounts of snow by late afternoon. We had hopes of being ahead of the storm. The first thirty minutes was smooth sailing, then it hit. What should have been a fifteen minute drive took us over an hour and a half. We stopped for gas and decided to turn around. Disappointed and frustrated we returned to the city.
It was around 6:00 that evening when the front door buzzed. Two beeps, it was Raun and Pam. They had also been delayed, cell phones dead and exhausted. We went for a burger and let them talk, and talk they did. This was not going to be an easy transition. There were a multitude of emotions ranging from guilt to anger and back again. This was all so very complicated. His children, her children, life insurance, social security, police reports, court dates. It was overwhelming to hear and even more overwhelming to imagine having to deal with it.
We encouraged them to spend the night but they both wanted to get home. The next morning the weather had cleared. The city had not received the bulk of the snow, it had hit the north suburbs hard. Austyn and I decide to try our trip again. We called around for car rentals. Fortunately the storm had prevented others from their trips as it had us, so cars were available. We rented the first car we found, loaded it up and headed north. We would spend the weekend in Wisconsin and make ourselves available in any way that we could.
We had not had much of a chance to spent time with the children, I was hoping this weekend would allow for that. We had planned Easter dinner at Grandma Gregg’s. Pam felt she needed to stay home but Raun brought the kids over and we played.
Grandma’s house is laid out great for hide and seek. We even got the older cousins involved. During one of the rounds, it was suggested to Chase that he hide under the bed. As the seeker entered the room calling out, “Chase where are you?” he actually answered. “I”m under here.” We all had a great laugh. I fell in love with these three children that night. Raun had told me numerous times that they could all be his and it was evident. They loved him and he was their anchor. They obeyed what he said and ran to him if they needed something. They had bonded.
As the evening came to an end we at on the sofa for some pictures. Sage, the middle one was standing next to me. I looked at her and asked, “Now will you remember me when I talk to you one the phone?” Sage replied very honestly, “No. What’s your name again?” Clearly it would take longer then a few hours for us to bond. I would be heading back to Chicago tomorrow and be known as Raun’s mom…grandma would have to wait.