As I sit here, on my last day of vacation, I have so much to absorb and reflect on. This wasn’t a “normal” vacation. This was life changing. I’ve experienced being around people that I am connected to not only by blood, but by unfortunate circumstances as well. The death of my uncle, my cousin’s father, and the death of my own mother, has created a bond that is palpable. It’s not only the passing of our parents, but the amount of unknown that surrounds their lives as well.
I had the chance to visit my grandfather’s home, where his widowed wife (not my grandmother, unfortunately she is gone too) still lives. My siblings and cousins hold fond memories of this place; however, I have none. My sister was with me and was shocked at how much of the house remains as it did when she was a child. I walked in to the room that belonged to my mother, adorned with the same wallpaper she looked at as a child, and became incredibly overwhelmed – not only by her presence, but also by the questions that began burning in my brain. I prayed that the walls would begin talking.
Looking in the back yard, I wondered, did she and her brothers climb the trees? Did they ride their bikes in this neighborhood? What the fuck went wrong here? How did a family crumble within these walls and why? There is so much I don’t know. The air was thick and heavy with sadness. I’d like to say I felt content just being in the space where she was, but I didn’t. If anything, it caused the fire in me to know more, to burn even hotter.
Fortunately, while there, we were given many items that belonged to my grandfather, including a binder full of letters and many photo albums. I can’t wait to dig in to those letters. My cousins nor I have much, if anything, that belonged to our parents. While rummaging through one of the boxes, one of my cousins found a letter that her father wrote. Words were not necessary to explain her tears. The connection of just holding something that her father once held is understood. I’m praying that somewhere in that stack of letters, I find my Mother’s handwriting.
My cousin Serina and I have shared many late night talks. It’s uncanny how much our thoughts and personalities reflect each other. It’s been therapeutic to be here. I’m not even sure that particular word describes how I am feeling right now. I’m hoping to process it all a little better on the very long drive home and in the days that follow.
For now, I’m grateful.
I have lots of comments and blogs to catch up on when I get home. Not to mention the overflow of my own stories to write about. I need to purge all that I am feeling and that is best done with a “pen”. Thank you to all that have dug in to my archives while I’ve stepped back from writing anything new. As always, you’re reads, shares and feedback is so very appreciated. And guess what, I’m about to reach a pretty damn awesome milestone… I’m only two followers away from 1,000 right now. I can’t even begin to tell you what that feels like.
I’ve enjoyed myself immensely while here. Reuniting with family and watching my little ones get to know their cousins has been amazing. All good things must come to an end and this adventure will be over at 6am tomorrow morning, as we pack up the car and drive away. Although we live on separate ends of the country, our hearts will remain close.
Much love to my family. And thank you Serina, Justin and Patti (the greatest big sis a girl could ever ask for). This trip wouldn’t have been possible without you.