My Papuchi promoted deep suffering on Good Friday. He was a devout Catholic, and as such, was super into the guilt and sacrifice movement. It was hard to feel guilty and sad on Good Fridays, though, because my cousins would come into town for Easter which would, honestly, make for an incredible time. Simpler times, indeed.

One year I had a brand new Nintendo 64. Mario Kart. Four controllers. Need I say more? My cousins and I were locked and loaded for a 90s good time. But it was Good Friday and Papuchi was not far away – listening to Mi Cristo Roto – My Broken Christ at full blast. The combination of a very intense retelling of a man’s conversation with Christ and cars zooming at lightning speeds through Bowzer’s Castle was a recipe for disaster. I knew it was only a matter of time. 

It happened. Bold little me was like “yeah yeah, we’ll turn it off.” But we didn’t. And he asked a few more times after that. I just ignored him because I guess I wanted to get my ass kicked, I don’t know. Next thing you know, his footsteps are coming down the stairs and he looks like he may have gotten to the part of the story where Jesus wasn’t doing so well, cause he was pissed. I paused the game and told my cousins to just sit still. Maybe he’d go away if the noise stopped. Nope. He grabbed all the cords that were plugged into the wall and ripped them all out of the socket. Only one of them was the N64 – but he was going for dramatic effect. “NO! MORE! GAMES!” 

We were so lucky not to get the belt. We were a few generations too late for that version of Papuchi. I’m sure he just wanted us to reflect a little bit. Maybe he just needed to be sad for a day or two. And that’s okay. I have a cry playlist on Spotify. I get it. My friend just told me that she watches A Dog’s Purpose when she wants to hurt. We all do our thing. 

This year’s Good Friday was rearing to live up to its name when my husband and I planned a little getaway. No Mario Kart, but definitely an AirBNB in Pine Mountain Club that had a room filled with arcade games. T’was a perfect combo of nature and Galaga. Forgive us, Papuchi. Nobody’s pulling the plug on these bad boys. But the day went sour. Ralph and I argued about something trivial that I can’t even remember. Chico jumped out of the car in the Trader Joe’s parking lot. The trip up to the cabin was our quietest road trip ever. We were hit with a major case of the Good Friday blues and very few video games were played. 

The next morning we went on a hike and it was strenuous. I took it super slow and still felt like it was a major challenge. I felt deflated and I just kept saying to myself “get comfortable being uncomfortable.” This meant ignoring my ego and taking it slow even when I wanted to keep up with Ralph and Chico – who handled the hike as if they’d been doing it every day for five years. At the end of the hike, I told Ralph to go on without me. I didn’t feel like pushing myself any further and I just wanted to take a moment to really lean into the sadness by myself. 

Ralph was out of sight and I sat on a little patch of dirt, stretched, and let myself cry it out. A little stream down below joined me in my catharsis. The day was gloomy and it felt like the whole world was crying with me. Suddenly, as if by some stroke of magic, the clouds parted and the sun came shining through on the little patch of dirt where I was sitting. 

As an adult – I can see that maybe Papuchi needed a day to be sad. Maybe I did too. I just needed to live the Good Friday blues to be able to appreciate when the sun rose again. 

Please enjoy pictures from my lovely weekend:

A celebratory cocktail after finishing the hike that almost broke my spirit.
Chico got some park time, which means ball time. This is after the 5-mile hike that he completed with us. He never runs out of energy. Ever.
Smiling through the pain.

My loves.
Mom & Dad time
Arcade at the Birchwood Artist’s Retreat

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