In life sometimes we grow apart. I wish we didn't, but we do. Sometimes because there is bad blood sometimes because there is distance, sometimes because we just get older. Whatever the reason, it's touching when we reconnect, when memories of what use to be flood us with emotions. This recently happened to me on a trip to Tennessee to see some family that I haven't seen in years.
I grew up really close to my Aunt Gail and her family, well as close as we could be when we lived almost six hours away. But EVERY Christmas, EVERY Thanksgiving you could find us at her house. My Grandparents eventually passed away, we moved closer, but yet farther apart. We were now only an hour and a half away, but yet years passed without seeing them. Her children's children are even grown and going to college, and yet they probably have NO memories of me or my dad. It's sad when we let "things" get in the way of family. No matter what those "things" may be.
There was no "bad blood" in our family, just distance and age. Illness, "I'll call tomorrow," and "When I feel better." Those are the things that stood in our way. It's no secret about my dad's health, but my Aunt and Uncle aren't in the best health either. Never-the-less, what excuse will we have about "calling later" or "visiting when I feel better" will we have when the other one is gone?
I hate to be hard, but I'm being realistic, my dad and his sister are the last ones out of six. And neither one is in great health. I hate the "should haves" when really we "could have." Spending time with my Aunt Gail and Uncle Carroll was AMAZING! They haven't changed at all. Watching him pick with my daughter and her face light up with laughter brought back SO many memories from my childhood with him. AJ fell instantly in love with his Great Uncle Carroll and I think he might have even stayed with them if I had let him.
Truth is I miss them, I miss the family, I miss the "completeness" of it all. The big holidays, the unconditional love. I want my dad to get better so we can visit more, but he doesn't have many "good" days where he feels like it, but I feel like if I don't "make" him, they won't have much time left together. I am so blessed with the wonderful memories that came back to me from my childhood with them. I just wish I had taken my camera and gotten more pictures. I didn't think about it until we were leaving and I only had my phone.
|a hug between sister and brother|
Uncle Carroll in the background with a gorilla bigger than my daughter
yes, we somehow fit it in my backseat
|My dad and his sister, Aunt Gail|
|passed out from a great trip|
see how big that gorilla is