The trip home

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Ok, I guess I need to do some catching up here on this blog since I’ve been away for so long.

I guess there is no better place to start than here. Considering the theme of being away for too long applies here as well….

This summer the whole family and I loaded up in the truck and we moved to beverly…hills that is…

Oops, wrong story. Sorry.

Anyway, we all packed up and decided a road trip to Kansas sounded like fun. Yeah.
road trip.
24 hours of driving with three kids.

Actually, I have to tell ya, it was a lot easier than I expected it to be!!! The kids were great, really really great.

I have great road trip kids.

Clayton plugged himself into whatever new gadget it was he was enthralled with at the moment. ( I think it was a gameboy and an MP3 player)

M’Kayla took charge of the DVD player and I think watched “flicka” a record breaking 15 times.

And Ricky, my road map rain man. He is a genius when it comes to road maps, signs, interstates, turnpikes, etc.
I think he told Brian and I each and every road we were on and what state we were in.
It was cute and weird all at the same time.

So anyway. We left out of the lovely, cool, summer time weather of the inland northwest that I have become accustomed to and headed for the oppressive humidity of the midwest.

We managed to drive through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado (which stinks…ask Ricky about that one) and Kansas in 24 hours.
We tried to stop in Colorado but they wanted $165.00 for a room for 4 hours..no thanks.
Anyway, we all arrived safely in the lovely state of Kansas. Yeah…ok.

It was great to see the family…mostly. It was truly a bittersweet trip for me. I didn’t really realize how bad my Grandma was getting, but it all hit home once I was there. I am going to miss the woman she was. And without going into detail, I desperately hope that God will provide her with the care she deserves and needs.

Anyway, we had planned a nice little “reunion” of sorts. See, that’s the great thing about being the family member who lives furthest away…everyone turns out to see ya when you come to town!! It was so awesome to get to visit with everyone again. I truly wish my family had not fallen away from one another…we all used to be so close. But it was nice to see everyone.

I finally go to meet my new niece, Zoe.

Can I just tell you what a doll this little girl is!?
She is just the sweetest thing. I just love her to pieces! And she had a thing for the holes in my Non-crocs too…

She just stole my heart. I’m gonna steal her away!!!

Anyway, we all got together at Lake Shawnee for our little reunion and I think we all had a fantastic time.
We THOROUGHLY enjoyed uncle Terry’s brisket and other meats he had slow smoked and brought…Yum-O!!! (yeah…I stole it from Rachel Ray…so what)
Then we all played apples to apples and visited and sat for some pics…none of which really turned out like I wanted them to.
I so want a new, good camera!!! (you listening santa????)

Here is one of the family, including that bundle of cuteness that is my cousin Marcie’s new little one Noah!!!
From left to right (back row) My sister Erin and her little one Zoe, My dad, Rick. My mom. My aunt Dena and uncle Terry, Abbey, Her hubby Darin (my cousin), Devin, little Noah and my cousin Marcie. Brian and me (looking like a cross between a female mario batali and a garden gnome..gosh crocs are ugly and gosh I am FAT.)
front row: M’Kayla. My Grandma (seated) and her husband wayne. Clayton with his stylin gang signs…yo diggity. My brother Clifton, and Ricky.

I think it turned out to be a pretty nice photo….too bad there are some missing people. My uncle Mike couldn’t make it. He really tried, but he is just too sick. His wife, Jill called me at the reunion and told me they just weren’t going to make it. So Brian and I decided we were going to him. He was the whole reason I went home anyway.

So after the picnic we went back to Granny’s and packed up our stuff and bright and early the next morning we set off for Iowa. We got there the next afternoon and spent the day with them. I cannot tell you how it all felt. Seeing my big, strong uncle looking so frail. I just wanted to hug him and take it all away. Make him better.
Instead I just sat with him. We talked about silly things like the truck he gave me…my first truck…a turd brown 1979 F-150.
We talked about camping in Yellowstone that summer we met up there.
We talked about my life, about how he is proud of me. ( I cannot convey the feelings I felt when he said that to me)
We talked about his Jacket he got from his company for excellence, and I could see how proud he was.
We talked about our dogs, and how goofie they are.
We talked about marriage and how he feels good about how mine is going.
We talked about hunting and how lucky my hubby is to have a wife who wants to learn to do that LOL!

We talked about life. We talked about kids. We talked about houses.
We didn’t talk about cancer though.
I didn’t take any pictures of him either. Which I’m sure I will someday regret and that some people will be disappointed that I didn’t…but I was too busy living the moments to record them on film.
And the living is the important part.

I still pray nightly for him. I know that God hears me and all of the others who lift him up daily.
I can only hope that he will understand that though it is selfish of us, we aren’t ready to give him our uncle, dad, husband, son, brother, friend.
And I do hope and pray that he will see fit to give him back to us whole. But if not, I know that Mike knows that I love him.
And he is a bigger part of my life than he will ever know.

So, anyway….after a long and fun and painful and treasured visit with Mike and his family it was time to hit the road again. This time we went through Minnesota, South Dakota (during sturgis..holy bikers batman!), back through Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and then home.

It was a whirl-wind trip that I will never, ever forget.

I learned a lot about myself on that trip. I learned a lot about my family on that trip.

I learned that no matter how bad you want time to stand still…it doesn’t. Grandma’s get old. Uncles get sick. And people change.
The trip home changed me.

Forever. I know I will never be the same. And that makes me a bit sad. But in a way it also showed me a lot of things and opened my eyes to this little life of mine.

It was quite a learning experience…that trip home.

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