Weekend thoughts

I spent the weekend in Las Vegas, lost a total of $5, gained 1 lb. and left shaking my head.  First off, there are very few casinos in Las Vegas where you don’t get innundated with cigarette smoke.  The point of our trip was to be with my wife’s sister, who lost her husband.  We flew in for the 40th day Mass, which happened in the Church of the Strip, AKA Church of the Holy Redeemer on  Epiphany.  But here was the itinerary:  Arrive early Saturday, drive to her home, pick her up and drive to a buffet. Eat, eat, eat.  Roll out of the buffet (this one wasn’t in a casino), head back to the house.  Sit around, talk (and burp), get bored, go to a casino, gamble a bit (at least for all of us out-of-towners-between four of us, we lost $6), watch football, and then go to a buffet, having left the other buffet 6 hours earlier…:/ Go home, and the young(er) folks went out to a club where my nephew works in security.  We old(er) folks watched the second game, and tried to settle our food…My wife and I literally slept on a sofa together…the floor was too hard.  The young(er) folk came in around 2:30. we heard them come in, because we were sleeping so soundly…(that’s sarcasm, for those who don’t realize).

Next day we woke, had coffee, piled everyone into a van, went to Mass.  The Church of the Holy Redeemer is a beautiful place, with Jesus the Redeemer welcoming people in.

The scene outside the Shrine

The inside is even nicer, with bronze artwork, and a tiled mosaic altarpiece.  The inside looks a bit like the outside of the Millenium Falcon from Star Wars, but it’s really a nice church.  And for Christmas, they have a nearly full-sized Fontanini Nativity set.  The Mass was well done, with my brother-in-law’s repose as the Mass intention.

Afterward, an Asian Buffet…Then home for a while.  My Sister-in-Law wanted to go out while the young(er) folks went to sleep off the night before.  So we went to a local casino, where we (sort of) watched the feature game (for us) of the weekend, with Washington battling Seattle. We gambled again, I lost $3, my wife lost $7.  We left at halftime to head for that really well-known Vegas hotspot…Walmart.  Shopped around in Walmart for a while, and bought some food things, but it was basically a stroll to stay out of the house, which was my SIL’s purpose, I believe, in getting away.  Yesterday I had to work, so my nephew escorted the ladies around town, a buffet, and shopping, while I worked.

All of this was to help my sister-in-law cope with the death of her husband.  I know she misses him, because she was treated like a queen.  She didn’t have to think about anything, but what she wanted out of life.  All 46 years they were married.  But now, these proceedings are needing to be handled, and that job has fallen to her children, because she really doesn’t know how to do anything.  She doesn’t cook, doesn’t clean, didn’t drive (she knew how, but never had to drive after he retired), didn’t know how to put gas in the car, didn’t know how to choose meat and vegetables, didn’t know how to repair anything.  She did work for a while, but when her husband retired, he wanted her to do so as well.  So they moved to Vegas, because she wanted to, and she got a job at a high-end retailer.  But he drove her to and from, he would deposit her paycheck, etc.

So my thoughts, as an outside observer in all of this…was she really free?  Or was she a ‘kept woman’?  I see value in knowing how to bank, how to navigate, how to do things.  I’m very do-it-yourself, but I know I’m not an electrician or a plumber, if you know what I mean…I know my wife values it, too.  In fact, I leave a lot to her to do because she, frankly, just does it better than me.  I can vacuum, but my wife is a professional, and would have to go back and re-vacuum because she thought she had to.  I can do laundry, but she’s much better than me.  I found all this out when she was recuperating from a fall.  I can paint, but I’m messy at it.  My wife is terrible with technology (and frankly, years ago, I used that fact to run away with my porn consumption).  She’s not a great cook, but she makes some things her grandchildren say are to die for.  I’m the main kitchen witch.  I deal with the banking, though she can deal with that, if she needs to.  When I was new to business (after the Navy), she was the one who made the most money, while I learned my trade, and rose into being a professional. Hard to imagine, but at one time, we thought me making $15/hour would be great!  Now, we look back at that, and laugh together.  But I digress…I’m concerned for my sister-in-law.  Not financially, but emotionally, and spiritually.  She has one son who is handling everything she can’t handle, and I think, since he’s not married, that he won’t until his mother passes away.   Also, she has several spirituality issues I won’t go into here, but while she is Catholic, she’s not really very Catholic.  One clue, all her family has mini-vials of his ashes that they wear as jewelry…:/.  They’re cultural Catholics, at best.   We’ll see about the emotional, as time passes.


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