I was gone less than a week, but it amazes me how quickly I slipped into my old family role, how well it fit around me when I stepped off the plane and caught sight of my sister Norma Jean. The time with her, my brother-in-law Pete, Allison and her new baby consumed me for five days. I didn't feel like I had ever been anywhere else.
|Sisters in the Pentagon Dining Room, photo by Pete|
I never feel like any time has passed when I see Norma Jean, because in my mind's eye, the person she is, her essence, is continually present in my heart, and I don't remember that we haven't seen each other for years. We take up where we left off as though it was yesterday. We laughed a lot, cried a little, and both made cooing noises over Lexie, the newest member of our family. Norma Jean is now a grandmother and I have another great-niece.
Pete and I connected in a way we haven't before, and I think airing some old resentments helped, not to mention that we all feel the number of times we will be together like this are dwindling. His COPD has advanced somewhat, and for years now he has mentioned that we might not see each other again every time we have gotten together. This time I felt he might be right, and it made every moment we were together very precious and poignant. All this going on with beautiful Lexie brand new in the world for us to enjoy and share.
When we were little, Norma Jean and I were together all the time. As we moved from place to place with our parents, the constant presence of the other helped to shield us from the changes. We were always there together. Daddy traveled a lot, but Mama didn't work outside the home and we had a family. Allison told me that today 4 out of 10 children are raised by a single mother. That is so different from the way it was when we were young.
I wrapped myself in the family feeling during the days I spent there, and I wondered several times why I didn't miss Bellingham or Smart Guy. Now I realize it was because every moment was filled with each other, not to mention the care and feeding of a two-month-old infant.
And how quickly it fell away the closer I got to home. Arriving at SeaTac at 8:00 pm, I still had to catch the 9:00 pm Airporter to Bellingham, with another couple of hours of travel ahead of me. By the time I was picked up at the Bellingham Airport by Smart Guy, I had one leg in each reality. The air of Washington State is so different from that of Washington, DC. Breathing it for half a day now has almost cleared out the DC vibes.
When I walked in the door, I felt I had arrived at home. Then I saw a note next to my iMac keyboard, and I realized that many of the things Smart Guy does for me every day become invisible and unappreciated when taken for granted. I was filled with gratitude that even while I'm not around, the computer is taken care of, the birds fed, and my plants watered. He's a keeper.
I'd say that you know how to live in the moment, which is a great thing!ReplyDelete
What a wonderful post, truly from the heart. I am so glad you're home. Now isn't that interesting since you posted and read blogs while you were away? Glad you're home and glad you had such a wonderful trip.ReplyDelete
Yes, he is a keeper! Perhaps, your family can pay you a visit next time?ReplyDelete
The best of both worlds - to be at home in both. It's wonderful that you got to share in Allison's ceremony, be with your sister and brother-in-law, and bond with baby Lexie.ReplyDelete
And then get to come home to Smart guy!
What a lovely time you must have had with your sister..I think it is all about whose shoes you are wearing..the sister, aunt and great aunt shoes got a good workout.. I am glad you are home safely from your adventure! Yes, your Smart Guy is a keeper:)ReplyDelete
You do look very contented in the photo with your sister, DJan. Isn't it funny how good home looks to us after being away! I would keep Smart Guy too!ReplyDelete
Glad you made it home safe. You and your sister look so much alike. What a beautiful relationship you share. Sisters are the best! And how nice to get to come home to the smart guy. I bet you're ready for another adventure...and I look forward to you sharing with us.ReplyDelete
I saw your comment at Quoteflections today and it was interesting that intended jumping through clouds was illegal. I mentioned this to my son and he said, "Duh mom...there might be a small airplane in the cloud, it could be dangerous." Is this why jumping through clouds is illegal? I bet it was very cool especially the rainbow!
I know exactely how you feel! I feel the same way every time I visit CA and then come back to NC! Glad you had a great time!!ReplyDelete
Welcomeback! It sounds like you had an absolutely wonderful time with your family...but there really is no place like home...is there?ReplyDelete
What a great picture of the two of you! You have mentioned before how close you and Norma Jean were through all of your moves. Thank goodness for family.ReplyDelete
I understand what you mean about slipping into the same role. It's a feeling like coming home. Perhaps it's just that it's comfortable to be around those people who have known you inside out forever. I do the same with my family.
You are definitely fortunate. It's important to step back sometimes to reassess and remember just how wonderful are the people in your life. I have found that it's all too easy to take my husband for granted as well.
I'm glad you had such a good trip, and I'm glad you're safely home. I'm sure you'll enjoy the quiet and visiting with your birds.
You and your sister look very much alike...you are so blessed as you have enjoyed the best of both worlds and have known love in both places.ReplyDelete
Hello D-Jan, glad your back,that's a lovely picture of you & your sister,family ties are strong here and that's wonderful.ReplyDelete
Smart guy is a wonderful husband to you,a keeper for sure!
I will be blogging again soon.Enjoy your day.
It is wonderful that you are so close to your sister. I am the oldest and one sister is nine years younger and the other is fifteen years younger than I. We have never been that close.ReplyDelete
How did you like DC? I haven't been there in years but I never cared much for it. By the way, the heat on the East Coast is much worse than what we have here because of the high humidity there.
Flying is definitely an adventure and not usually the good kind. Home is where the cats are. Or in your case Smart guy! I'm just being silly. Glad you had a nice trip!ReplyDelete
smiles. sounds like you do have a keeper there...thats what i like to hear.ReplyDelete
and it sounds like you had a great trip...you were in my backyard in DC...we hit there about twice a year...
You know how to appreciate good times and enjoy what is now and then when you move on you are able to do the same in the next moment. People pay good money to therapists to be able to do that!!ReplyDelete
It's so good to hear that your trip went well.it seems we all love to be bak even after a trip filled with joy.ReplyDelete
Trips often foster a thankfulness for what you have back home. In this case one of the things is Smart Guy. Sounds like a perfect partnership.ReplyDelete
What a lovely post of gratitude and appreciation. You and your sister sure do look alike. :)ReplyDelete
What a wonderful reunion you have had, it's obvious you are indeed close to your sister, and family gatherings are that much loved feeling of picking up, where you left off...ReplyDelete
You are correct, your fella is a keeper :)
Glad you are safely home again friend.
You're so lucky to have a sister -- and a Smart Guy. You are truly blessed. Truly...!ReplyDelete
A lot of peace and happiness comes through in this post. It's great that you had such a productive visit with Pete, along with all the great female bonding with your sister, niece, and grand-niece. And I love your note of appreciation for Smart Guy. You and I are both very lucky!ReplyDelete
Welcome home! You are lucky - or better said - you have the people in your life that you deserve to have - loving and loyal.ReplyDelete
Welcome home and back to your own particular normality. I know what you mean by one leg in each actuality - I do that a lot. I've got one leg in England one leg in Tennessee and it almost feels normal to me now. I'm not sure where the crossing over comes but it does and each time I travel I look forward to seeing the other side again. We are very lucky, you and I.ReplyDelete
how wonderful to have such a thoughtful man aroundReplyDelete
a keeper indeed :)
the details of your trip are very touching
Whoa, I just noticed I come up on your tracker thingy as visiting from Waterbury Ct, must be where the IPO is, cause I am certainly NOT in Waterbury, that is a much bigger city than the little city I have just moved to!ReplyDelete
Catching up, Congrats to the new promotee! Glad to see women taking over. The world is going to get calmer, I can feel it!
You are so lucky to have your siblings, all is well when one can speak as though it were just yesturday. Nice pics too, you guys even look related, couldn't say that much for my sister and me. Hmmm, maybe I really was adopted..... :)