On Saturday, I went to a girls softball game. My cousin’s daughter Delaney pitched the last 3 innings and did an awesome job. I managed to get a wonderful sunburn, which is now turning into a tan. The weather was awesome on Saturday. After the softball game we headed back to my cousin’s house, crashed and watched some tennis on TV. After that I drove over to St. Peter’s Cemetery in Haverstraw, NY to pay my respects to my sister. I haven’t been to her grave since the day she was buried and it was a very emotional moment for me. I stayed there for over 20 minutes and just talked to her, told her how much I miss her and said some prayers for her. My sister was lost after being in a persistent vegetative state for almost six years. She was hit by a drunk driver in 2005 and suffered severe brain trauma. It’s been hard living without her, she always gave me great advice. She was always the one I turned to when I needed to confide in someone. Sadly that’s now gone and the only person I confide in now is myself, which is of no help. LOL! Saturday evening I enjoyed a delicious dinner at my cousin Mark’s house. His wife is of Italian descent and made the most awesome Lasagna and Meatballs ever! I really enjoyed that. They have a lovely home and are really working to add even more great stuff to it, like a garden and a deck for their pool. After that I headed back to my hotel and crashed for the night. Photos from Saturday:
Sunday morning I awoke WAY earlier than normal so that I could attend church with my cousin, Ann. We went to church at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Haverstraw, NY. There I met up with another family member, George. He’s in his eighties, weighs more than he should, but he’s an awesome guy and I love him to death. He invited us to breakfast at Gannero’s Restaurant ( https://plus.google.com/100047540467388084569/about?gl=us&hl=en ). But before we could enjoy breakfast we needed to attend a special soccer game. My cousin Mark’s twins, Tanner and Teagan, were playing. They’re 5 years old and I gotta tell you they play hard for being that little. I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the other kids. They’re so tiny that when they run and kick the ball they look so awkward. But Tanner and Teagan both put them to shame, scoring one goal each. Again, it was another beautiful day in New York, slightly chilly, but comfortable for me. Everyone else was in sweatshirts and drinking hot chocolate. I was in a short sleeve shirt and wasn’t cold, it felt good! After soccer we headed over to Gannero’s for that breakfast. And OMG, it was the most incredible breakfast I had ever had!! This place has been in Stony Point, NY for as long as I can remember and further still. It’s a classic, old school, diner style restaurant. It was great. After breakfast we headed back to Ann’s place and just crashed for a bit. She read the newspaper and I just watched TV. Around 2:50pm I got up and drove over to another classic diner, Hogan’s Family Diner ( https://plus.google.com/local/Stony%20Point,%20NY/s/Hogan’s%20Family%20Diner?gl=us&hl=en ), where I met up with two friends of my sister’s, Tina and Cathy (who is also my cousin), and my cousin Jim. It was a very special meeting because I had to deliver something very special to Tina, one of my sister’s friends. It was a ring that my sister wore a lot and was actually her favorite ring. It was an aged metal ring with an eye staring at you, surrounded on each side by two cobras and a skull over top. This was the kind of stuff my sister loved to wear. I had promised two years ago to give that ring to Tina, but I never got around to sending it to her. So made sure I had it with me on this trip. She was very happy to get it. We enjoyed lunch together, talked about all kinds of stuff and relived memories of the times with our grandparents and parents and so on. Afterward we said our goodbyes to Jim. But Tina, Cathy and myself decided to head back over to the cemetery and pay our respects to Kelly, my sister. We talked about so many things just standing there by her grave. So many wonderful memories of an incredibly giving and loving person whose life was snuffed out by a drunk driver. All three of us shared our pain at losing her. Sunday night, my last night in New York, I went with my cousin Ann to another girls softball game. This time my cousin Michael’s daughter, Reagan, was playing as catcher for the Haverstraw Angels. While there were some sprinkles in the air, the game was awesome and the Angels won 8-4. I rode back to Ann’s place and there we said our goodbyes and I fought back tears, I wasn’t sure when I’d be back up again. But I had an amazing time in New York. I enjoyed experiencing a day in the life of my cousin Ann. She is a wonderful grandmother who goes to nearly all of her grandkids games. She is wonderful person and I was sad to say goodbye to the fun we had. But as they say, “All good things must come to an end.” I am very proud of myself for making the solo trip to New York, because I had a great time and got to see my extended family, people whom I love and appreciate. Most of all, I needed to make this trip to change my lonely existence for a short time. Being by myself isn’t fun, so this was a much needed vacation from that existence.
I got in my car at 10am Monday morning and hit the road, saying goodbye to New York. Hoping that my next trip is under the same good circumstances.
To my family and friends in New York: I love you! Thank you for 4 wonderful days!
Photos from Sunday:
All photos were taken using an iPhone 5S. 😉