No New Year’s Day

Well, it happened.

The day I long dreaded, the day that A.J. and her family left to move to Saint Augustine, finally came two weeks ago. The day before they left, I watched Phoenix. A.J. came over and we walked Cosmo- Elise’s Frenchie- down the trail on 76 Street because he hadn’t wanted to go out earlier in the rain. Phoenix insisted on holding the leash himself to walk Cosmo.

Then Wyatt and Justin came over to say goodbye.

Give Gigi an extra big hug now, because you’re not going to see her for a while.

said Justin

Open heart, insert knife.

I was holding Phoenix, so we did a group hug in the living room. Kinda reminded me of the end of the Mary Tyler Moore show (I’m dating myself here) but this was my real family parting ways, not a work family.

As I said goodbye to the clan in the driveway, I was trying to keep it together, but tears started to well up in my eyes. I know A.J. saw them and I just wanted them to leave, quickly, before the waterworks started. They were leaving the next morning, so I made sure I was busy that day. Zeke and I went to see a house for sale, I picked up a box of mangos from my old tennis partner and then, headed down to the Keys for the weekend.

A.J. and the kids stopped by the next morning, but I had already gone. Truthfully, I don’t think I could’ve gone through another goodbye- the first one was hard enough. The night before they left, I had a hard time sleeping, so I got up and wrote Wyatt a letter.

Dear Wyatt,

The day you were born seven and a half years ago in South Miami Hospital, you became my life. Today you will leave for Saint Augustine and will start a new life and, so will I.

I know we’ll both do great.

Love, Gigi

It said more, but that was the gist and I cried as I wrote it.

Wyatt and I talked about how we would keep in touch when he moved. We agreed to: Sending each other letters and Face Timing and “when I get a phone, I’ll text you.”

“When will that be?” I asked.

“When I’m ten,” he said.

A long way away….

I’ve done pretty good at keeping myself busy.

Going to the Keys, out on the boat, Happy Hours, Lunches and Dinners. I even had a Pizza Party last Friday night with friends. Almost all of my entertaining this year has revolved around my family, as I wanted to savor every precious bit of time I had with A.J. and company. I did mention, at our last Spaghetti Sunday (a send-off for A.J.), that I would like to keep up the tradition of having pasta on Sundays; doing it once a month and rotating houses. Everyone liked the idea.

So you start this tradition when I move away?

A.J. said, half kidding.

But I still have my Mom, sisters, nieces, nephews and grand niece (Gracie) in Miami, so I think we should make it a point of getting together, while we all can. As I’ve learned, you never know when it could all end.

I’m doing Storyworth, where they ask you a question a week and, at the end of the year, you have a book. It’s pretty cool and was a gift from my Mom for my birthday. Anyway, a recent question was: “What simple pleasures do you enjoy?” and there were so many I could think of and so, as I go about my day, I think of more and write them down. It’s a great reminder to be grateful each day for the little things in life.

One thing that happened to me last week that I was grateful for was I finally got paid for an article I wrote a year ago; the editor paid me more than I asked for! The other thing that happened was the new Chicken Soup for the Soul: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone book, that my story “Yes, Let’s!” is in, hit my doorstep. This was very exciting; I shot a video of myself opening up the package. It will be available for purchase July 25th and I will probably have a Book Signing.

Opening the box of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books!

Of course, at the top of my list of simple pleasures, is spending time with my grandsons. That’s not going to change, although it has gotten more complicated. In July, I will go to Tallahassee to visit Liam, Christopher and Courtney for the weekend and then head to Saint Augustine to see A.J. and her family. I’ll stay there a couple days and then bring Wyatt down to Miami for a week, to go to the Keys and camp at Riviera.

You can bet I’m counting the days!

I just called to say I love you. I just called to say how much I care. I just called to say I love you. And I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

Stevie Wonder

Up Next: Camponata

Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

One thought on “No New Year’s Day

  1. Love this one, Gina! Youโ€™re a great Gigiโค๏ธ, and CONGRATS on your article and book!๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ“ ๐Ÿ“– ๐Ÿค—

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