I recently took a trip to Tahoe with my mom and my Nonnie. On our way home we stopped at Apple Hill to grab some apple donuts for my Dad.. the police officer. (coincidence?) Anyway.. As we were there I could see memories my family there everywhere I looked. My parents used to take us there in the fall when we were just little kids. Its so much smaller than I ever remembered it. When I was little, I felt like we were walking through a huge forest when we were there. Turns out its just a parking lot with pine trees throughout. The craft tents seemed to go on for days. There really are only a few.. I guess when Nonnie comes along on the day trips a few craft tents are a few too many. I can remember the hill, that I thought to be so steep, that little slanted thing? yeah, well at the base of that hill is the pond that Tony used to ask to fish in. We'd walk by and watch people fishing in what now looks like a shallow puddle. Then.. we came to it. Just past the pond. The part that was the highlight of Caties day. Not mine.. mine was just around the corner in the fudge shop but theres nothing new and exciting to talk about there so I'll get back to what I was about to say... THE PONY RIDES! We'd all ride these tiny little ponys as they walked in circles and we all enjoyed it, but Catie, she was in her glory!! She has always been a horse lover! She always talked about having her own horse and thanks to the Make A Wish foundation, did for some time. Just thinking about how happy it the pony ride made her makes me cry. I wish I had a picture of her riding there at Apple Hill. I'm sure my mom has one somewhere. She was just so comfortable.. Her long, straight brown hair pulled back in a bouncy pony tail. Most likely with a big bow or ribbon tied in it. She had these straight bangs that sat just over her little eyebrows, uninterrupted by a cowlick like mine. They were so pretty! You know when you see a gorgeous painting with the most perfect matting around it? that was how Caties bangs were. They brought out her dark brown eyes that were so little and beady but SO expressive. They were soft and kind. Just like they are now.. She had this huge smile and a laugh that was loud but delicate. Its hard to describe.. and it sounds typical to use the example of an angel but really, when I think about Catie as a little girl I can't think of anything else to describe her. She wasn't just a little girl who liked ponies.. sure, she was just this skinny little girl but she had this bubble around her that was huge and sweet. She was spunky but in a fun way. She wasn't afraid of anything and never got caught up in anything but enjoying every fun moment. I could never just enjoy riding my pony. I was always looking to see who had the prettier one, or how much longer until the ride was over or when we were going to get a freaking caramel apple.. but Catie. She just looked like she was in a different place. Disconnected in a way.. like even before she had short term memory and crap for brain cells, she still had an innocent life that wasn't clouded with reality. Like an angel. Like she couldn't see anything negative. Its almost as if there are flowers and butterflies and cupcakes flying around her while she glides by on this pony. Kind of funny now that I think about it. I just can't seem to find the words to describe what she looked like. Like pure perfection! Like I said, like an angel. She still seems like that some days.. When I see her slouched over in her hospital bed looking thinner and more tired, I can still see that bubble around her. Like, she really is happily riding a pony or something.. so peaceful and untouchable by the world and all that goes along with it. She still has the same kind eyes that just hug you. Sometimes her eye muscles freak out and its like she makes eye contact with you and for a split second its the same Catie that turned around and smiled at me while riding in circles on those ponies. She still has a soft, sweet voice too. Truthfully, Catie hasn't changed one bit since that pony ride in Apple Hill, only her body has changed. Still tho, I wish I could take her to Apple Hill and ride the Ponies as little girls again.
Its probably unhealthy to always wish I could go back in time and be with the old Catie. Probably seems like I don't appreciate her or being with her now and thats not at all the case. I am so thankful for every day she is here, even if I don't get to see her that day. I honestly believe I will always want to go back into the past. I don't think it will ever change.. whether its healthy or not. I will always wonder what it would be like if Catie was healthy and we could bring our kids to Apple Hill together.
Shoot. I need a caramel apple. Make that a fudge covered caramel apple. Okay, okay. Two fudge covered caramel apples with nuts.
If only it was that simple of a fix huh? I'd be a whole lot chunkier if the fudge shop at Apple Hill could cure heart aches. I guess until there is a cure I'll just continue putting band aids over all the little bruises that pop up every time I see something like an anti animal friendly horse pen that reminds me of my sister and the memories we've made.
really tho, wheres my apple?