Recently I drove to Alabama to see my relatives, those who are still speaking to me, that is. It was an interesting and fun trip. I stayed at my mother’s house, where my brother now lives. It did my heart good to see all the improvements and to feel the house being lived in again.
We even had a get together on the back porch to welcome home my nephew Aaron, a Marine, who is scheduled to go back to Afghanistan for a second time sometime soon. My sister Jean and all her kids and grandkids were there. We had babies playing around our feet, just like so many times before. My brother’s oldest son Walter was there too with his kids, including the twins, who have grown so much. I go to see my nephew Troy’s new baby girl in the hospital, in the NICU because she was premature. She has since come home and is doing just fine.
I visited my sister Charlotte, who has some health problems right now, but prayer and medicine seem to be helping. It was so good to see her.
I spent a whole day with my sister Angie, driving the back roads from one cemetery to another to photograph headstones. We only got lost once. We also stopped and visited our Aunt Duck, the oldest of Mama’s surviving sisters. She hugged me so hard and held on for so long that I was ashamed I haven’t gone to visit her more often.
I went out to my sister Jean’s house and visited her for a while. Her granddaughter Lila was carrying around her puppy named June, “a nice puppy” she said.
When I got home, my partner Sandy and I talked for the first time about my retirement and where we might want to live. I think in the near future we will make some trips to look at some places. We know we want to be in the country, with pretty views, maybe near a creek or lake, and maybe near the mountains. It’s time to start making those decisions.
I also did some research for my book, which is coming along much slower than I would like.
What I learned was that it’s okay that things have changed. I have changed too. Maybe I learned that visiting the past is good, but trying to actually recreate it is impossible.