Post Vacation Thoughts

I am sitting in the Newark Airport waiting to board a plane home. I cannot quite believe that it is over! This was more than just a vacation, it was also precious time with family. It had been at least fifteen years since I had seen my cousins. A lapse I am determined to not allow again.

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My parents & I enjoying a lovely Italian meal at Giovanni's in Belair, Maryland

I rode with my parents up to New Jersey. This had to be the most amount of time I ever spent with them. It was just wonderful! Having that time with them, something we can look back on in the future, is just awesome. Even sharing various hotel rooms was just fine.

We arrived in New Jersey, heading right over to my Aunt Kathy’s house. Where we stayed except for sleeping at our hotel room. Other families go hiking or camping. Mine makes great sport of eating, drinking wine and conversation.

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Cousin Jenn, Caroline & I

I love my family. I loved reconnecting with my cousin Jenn, meeting her husband Robbie and her adorable kids. We got caught up with our lives. Reminisced about old stories. Discussed our food at length.
I got attacked with water guns by one of my other younger cousins. Not to worry, I got him good.

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It’s a good thing we enjoy each others company.

Some trips are about being the tourist, getting to know a city. Others are just spending time with people. Time with our loved ones is not guaranteed.

This trip was such a blessing. I am grateful to my parents for allowing me to tag along. For the laughter and conversation. For holding my three month old cousin.

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Saying Goodbye

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I said goodbye to a friend the other day. My dear Hershey boy was an old man at 24 years old. He had not been eating much and had gotten down to a tiny six pounds. And so I made the best decision for him, to let him go. To end his suffering and to prevent any unnecessary poking and prodding.

The first night home was strange. His favorite resting spot was now empty. I found myself petting it a few times during the night. No more will I hear his gentle purring next to me. Or his begging meows for his weekly serving of wet food. No more scolding meows when I would come home and not immediately pet him.

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He was my best friends cat first. The first time I met Hershey he was teasing her blind dog Woofer. His constant companion was another cat named Jake. The two would get into trouble outside. Hershey starting up fights, leaving Jake to finish them.

By the time he came into my care, he was older and more settled. My friend could no longer care for him and I offered to take him home. I had never owned a cat. He was wary of me as he did not know me. But soon we found our way.

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That was about eight years ago. In that time he became my ride or die. It was him who was there for me when sick late at night. He gave me cuddles when it hurt just a bit too much to be alone. Having him in my life was an assurance of love. In turn he showed me what it was to love.

Right now, I feel alright. I do not think it has fully hit me that he is gone. Sunday after I got home from church was when he got his wet food. Maybe it will hit me then. My only regret was not wiping away the gunk from his eyes one last time. I did kiss him and stroke his one ear just so. Quickly the anesthetic was injected, and he lay down. Then he was gone, free from pain.

I am not sure about adopting another. It will not be for at least a few months at least. If I do it will definitely be from the local shelter.

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Off To Camp I Go ( Again)

I am leading at camp again this week. Things are a bit different than last year, but the mission remains the same. This was taken last year on the final day of mission camp. I will be busy the entire week supervising middle schoolers as they serve our community, study the book of James, develop closer relationships with each other and worship God. It will be a week of late nights, little sleep, lots of deep conversations and laughs. It will be fun, growing and exhausting. I can not wait to sleep on the floor and wake up my girls each morning. Really, I can not wait!

Follow me on Twitter @lindasconnelly for updates and pictures!

I will be taking a break from blogging for the rest of this month. I will return to my regular blogging schedule in the beginning of July.