We reached our destination on Friday, just in time to reach Sue, Doah's former teacher who had taken him into her home in 1998 while I was working at NASA, before she headed out for a party. At the party were two of her former assistants, both of whom also knew Doah. They were very excited to see him after more than a decade had passed. He was excited to see them. I took him to the party, and as I was preparing to join them, he turned to me pointedly and said, "Bye, Mom."
"I'm going to go with you, sweetheart," I told him.
"No, you're going to the hotel," he replied. I understood that these three ladies were very special to him, so special that he did not want to share them with anyone, let alone with his mother.
"I'll bring him back," Sue offered. I accepted.
Donnie and I went to dinner at Bob Evans while Doah was partying. Bob Evans was next door to the hotel, and we were still there when Sue brought Doah back. I called her on her cell and suggested she come by Bob Evans. She also had her 12-year-old son with her. So, we had dessert together and caught up on the last ten years.
Unfortunately, while I took pictures, I managed either to misfile them or overwrite them. I have no pictures either of our time at Bob Evans or at Pizza Hut (birthday party) on Sunday, yet I took many. Sigh! It's technology; I have a high chance of messing it up. Sigh!
Saturday brought the wedding, unusually themed as a reflection of the 1920s. Most people got into the spirit and dressed accordingly. A few things threatened by the wedding, but for an event that was five years in the making, nothing was going to stop the train from arriving at its station. First, it rained. Hard. Cats and dogs. Thunder and lightning. The power went out for four hours, which made it difficult for the bride and bridesmaids to get addresses and do their hair appropriately. Second, the rain continued for hours; the grass was still wet at 6:00, the time of the outdoor wedding. Fortunately, Jake and Jessica had an alternative indoor plan, and all was well that ended well.
As the reception wound down, the wedding party left to visit the grave of JT, a friend of theirs who was supposed to have been the best man, but who was murdered. It's a long story, and the murderer is in jail, but JT's absence added a small somber note to an otherwise joyful gathering. (JT must have been a special person because for the past year, his friends visit his grave regularly, and for twenty-somethings to do that in this day and age is remarkable.)
Sunday was also a special day. Noelle's birthday was May 30, Sue's May 31, and Rollie's June 26. Three of my nephews were also born in June. So, we did a joint celebration. We called my sister, Danielle, a June 6 birthday girl, to say happy birthday. And cousin Shelly, Lizzie's twin cousin (born on the same day in September) drove in from Columbus to join us in our pizza party. In all, we filled up 22 chairs at Pizza Hut, a real Mahlou outing, albeit with only a few from the 12 branches represented.
Then, we retired to the hotel because Donnie had to drop Lizzie off at the airport early Monday morning before we all headed back home. However, before she fell asleep Noelle had Donnie set up the laptop that the family had pitched in to buy her for her birthday and had gotten onto the Internet and friended everyone in the family. It has been the first sign of her continuing with life in a new direction since Ray died in January. Yes!
And then we all went to bed and fell asleep...