I’ve been out of my blogging family for brief period and I’ve missed everyone! I’ve not been commenting on blogs as much or posting. I had a good reason for doing so; I was visiting family and when I do, I unplug, for the most part.
There are those times when it’s necessary to do so, I think. Put aside all those distractions (blog-wise, work-wise and all) to focus on family. I don’t get to see my immediate family that much, once a year, twice if I’m lucky. When I do, that week is filled with catching up. I see the changes in my loved ones and they in me. Some things stay the same while others knock you for a loop, know what I mean?
I see the biggest changes in my nieces and nephews. A year can make an enormous difference in an adolescent’s life. My nephews, all sinewy, man-like with deeper voices. My nieces, tall and slender — becoming beautiful young women. I can see who they are going to be — the people they will become as adults. It’s so bittersweet because I was there for two of their births — I held them in my arms when they were just a few hours old. I have those pictures on my fridge.
My sisters all have children and they’re rushing around doing this and that for them. When I was a child, my summers were playing in the backyard, writing, painting, drawing. Simple things. Now, there’s lacrosse, music lessons, cheerleading camps, school activities, SATs, ACTs and all the enormous preparation that goes with trying to apply for college. One nephew is a year away from that, the other three. I’m amazed they can do it all.
When I come home, their lives are disrupted. We all get together for family dinners. We cooked out, went downtown for lunch, explored an 1800’s estate. My husband and I visited the place where we had our first date and the neighborhood we lived in when we decided to move in together. We drove by the house we lived in — we were married in that backyard.
Two of my sisters have lived there their entire lives. One left for years and is back again, living and raising her children there. I always had a wanderlust; leaving home at 18, but always “coming home” to visit. Funny, how it hasn’t been “home” for the majority of my life, but I always refer to it as that.
We drank wine, laughed, argued, made up and when I left, we all hugged each other, saying, “The next time we’ll do this, or that…” The things we meant to do, but time got away from us. So I’ll spend the next week, decompressing and missing them and I’d like to think they’re doing the same. Then our lives, the ones we all chose, will go back to normal until the next time.
Leaving on a Jet Plane
When I hugged my Mom and Dad, I saw myself in them. My Dad’s fairness, my mother’s wavy hair, the shape of my eyes so like her’s, the color of mine, blue like his. I always cry. My heart nearly bursts with loving them. In the back of my mind, I’m thinking…they’re getting older and I’m missing all this. But they want me to be happy, so they’ve always accepted, Brigitte’s the one who has to go different places, so we’ll be here whenever she wants to visit.
So, I tuck those memories and moments away to pull out when I’m missing them.
We all have those great things we’ve done in life — awards, professional milestones, a great vacation, but it’s really those moments with the people that know and love you the most that are the most precious and most likely the ones you’ll remember at your life’s end. Not the great job, but those big belly laughs, those fights when you each get so passionate about trying to get your point across and then making up and loving each other — despite all that, no matter what.
Baz Luhrmann’s Everybody’s Free has a couple of points relevant to this post:
Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gap in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Can you tell I’m a little misty and emotional? The weird thing is I’ve missed this blogging thing — this strange (and I mean that in the best way) little family I’ve come to know since I began doing this. So, I’m back, back in the New York groove and I’ll get to back to my life now — working, playing, blogging, writing — the life I’ve chosen.
Happy late Monday (and Tuesday) everyone, and I just had to do it. Press play below and listen to Everybody’s Free. Warning: it’ll make you all misty.
~ ~ ~
Photo creds: Family sculpture