The time Peche spent with us was…well it was amazing! I had never been happier. He was so incredibly cute and sweet and funny. I had definitely fallen hard during his small visit. The closer we got to his time to return home, the more upset I became.
He charmed the entire family, Mom and Dad loved him almost as much as I did! This was a huge bonus.
On top of all of his awesomeness, he cooked! I mean come on! What more could a girl ask for. He and Dad traded many recipes and cooking secrets. I am not sure whos food was better. I was probably a little biased but, Peche could make Crepes that were out of this world!
I knew what had to be done, I just had to make sure everyone was going to be ok with it. It was 2 days before Peches flight, and I only had a small amount of time. So I went to talk to mom.
I tried not to pout, but I was totally disappointed. “I don’t want Peche to go.”
“Oh Honey. I know, we are all going to miss him.”
“Miss isn’t even the word for what I am going to feel. I can feel it now as we speak. My heart is already breaking and he isn’t even gone yet. What am I gonna do Mom?”
“Well Honey, you need to follow your heart. What does it tell you?”
I was silent for several moments. I closed my eyes, I was listening so intently, but nothing could be heard.
“Honey you don’t have to have the answer right this second. This is a big decision, you need to really think about this, but I want you to know that your Dad and I will help you any way we can. What ever you chose. Don’t you forget that.”
Later that night, I got online and started researching everything I could, that could help with my specific situation. I was up well past 4 Am, before my eyes just would not stay open a moment longer and I had to go to bed.
But more about that later…
A lot of stuff happened while I was gone. Tea Rose got herself a job at the theater downtown. It was a total change of pace, from anything I had imagined her getting into. I thought for sure she was going to follow in moms footsteps and be a renown painter. She certainly had the skills.
I think it was around the end of her senior year when she received that guitar as a gift. After that her easel started collecting dust. I never thought she would acutally want to go into musical career though. I shouldn’t have been that surprised. I swear everything she touched turned to gold. Whether it was a brush or an instrument she was truly talented.
Bigger surprise than Tea Rose, was Misty’s sudden fascination in Horticulture. She had started a small garden in the back yard and she spent every free moment she had tending to it. Who would have ever thought miss clean would become so passionate about playing in the dirt.
The final day arrived and I was quickly running out of time. This was it Cherry. Now or never! I closed my book and looked across the table at Peche.
“I thought we could go to the beach today. How does that sound?”
“Yes that sounds fun!”
I smiled as I stood from the table and prepared a lunch and some other goodies for our afternoon trip.
As we sat there sharing marshmallows over the small fire, the butterflies started to creep into my stomach. I finished the last Mallow on my stick and stood up. He followed me and soon we were only inches away from each other.
The moment was perfect. I could see the firelight flickering in his eyes. He brushed my cheek and I closed my eyes, and took a deep breath.
“Ok. Just hear me out for a second.” I stated gingerly.
“This is probably the craziest thing I have ever done, but Peche I love you, and I will do anything to keep you from getting on that plane tomorrow.”
I could tell he was shocked, but the smile on his face widened as I spoke.
“So I was thinking, maybe you and I could get…married and we could make this a more permanent arrangement.” I was so relieved when I finally got it all out, and then I waited for his reply.
“But how would we do that?”
“Well… I stayed up all last night looking up immigration paper work. We could do this, if you want to that is. So what do you say my love? Will you stay with me?”
“Oh Cherree, I do love, but I could never afford to stay here.”
I shook my head. “You don’t have to worry about that, Mom and Dad have already offered to help us out.”
“The look on his face looked much more hopeful. “How could I possibly say no when those beautiful eyes are looking back at me. Yes Cherree, I will stay.”
We held each other there on the beach and I was so ecstatic, I almost felt as if I was going to faint. I squeezed him even tighter. This couldn’t really be happening could it? This was first day of a whole new life for me… and Peche!
I didn’t realize at the time how true those words acutally were. Later that night Mom passed away. She had been getting more and more frail as the days went by. I had even worried it may have happened while Carmine and I were in France. She held on just long enough for Mango and Carmine to return home, and then she was gone. Even though we knew it was coming, it didn’t change the devastation that ensued.
We all went to her bedside, for those final moments.
Everyone was crying and it was probably one of the hardest things I ever had to endure. I was going to miss her so much.
The next morning I went to paint, try and relax my mind a little, but when I walked into the room the first thing I saw was Moms last painting sitting in its easel, half finished. The tears once again welled up in my eyes and I fell to the floor crying. Peche ran into the room and wrapped his arms around me.
“Shhhh Cherree, its ok.”
The day before the funeral I received a phone call from the local art gallery. They wanted to express their condolences and they also called to ask for painting of Moms for the gallery. They would be having a memorial exhibit and needed us to donate some of her work. Dad and I were so touched by their gesture.
The whole family went to the gallery the morning of the funeral.
It was so hard standing there looking at one of her final works sitting on the wall, but we all knew how honored she would have been. Once again I was taken over by emotions and began to cry. I was so grateful I had Peche there, he was so caring.
As we stood there before her tombstone we said our final goodbyes. Dad excused himself to the small church just inside, he said he just needed to be alone for a moment.
The loss must have been too much for his heart to handle, because only a few moments later, he too passed on. This had to be the worst day of my life.
Try as he might, Roz was unable to get off work. He rushed over to the cemetery as soon as he could, but by the time he got there. Dad was gone.
We laid them both to rest on that foggy Thursday night. R.I.P Mom and Dad.