Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This is my 200th post.

Alas, I cannot bring myself to imbue it with the spirit of celebration I had planned. I am sad. My Aunt was in town visiting us from Rochester, NY, this week. A dear, dear aunt, who made my baby quilt, and 30 years later made one for Ben and Clara as well. Who has opened her home many times to invasions of nieces and nephews and slews of little cousins to sleep on sofas and beds, in tents in the yard and on pallets on the floor while forgoing her own sleep to make cookies and breakfasts and do load after load of laundry. Who showed up at my house this week with boxes of my favorite chocolates and gifts for the kids.

Our visit was uneventful. A day spent with the family at a park. An afternoon at the mall picking out shoes for Clara. A visit to my favorite local sandwich shop. And lots of time spent at home with the kids. Or in the kitchen, graciously observing my bumbling attempts at hostessing, while laughing at memories of her last visit when I barely had a knife to chop my vegetables with.

Her last visit...when she came to meet a downy haired, irritable, tiny plucked chicken of a baby boy. The same now-almost-four-year-old who met her again this week and fell, unabashedly, in love with her. Relentless in his desire just to be near her, to impress her, to talk to her and snuggle with her. And who, today when - after dropping her off at the monstrosity of the Atlanta airport - I returned without her, wept; wailing in confusion and despair that "people who are part of our family should stay with us forever!"

And so we had a talk about people we love, like Grandmas and cousins, and favorite aunts, who are part of our family, but live other places. But in my heart I felt as he did. That NY is just too far away for someone we love so much. And four years is a lifetime. I have visited her twice during that period, once alone and once with Allison, but the means to purchase 5 or 6 airline tickets to NY has been beyond us. And I have been unable to muster the fortitude to drive there with toddlers and babies in tow. And so I know that the next time he sees her he will likely be a long legged elementary schooler who may not remember her, this visit, or his fleeting love affair at all. And for that reason, I found myself in tears tonight as well. And wishing that I could, even just occasionally, fold up the distances between us so we could step across.

*************
And in a luckless accident this weekend, my brother fell and broke his leg in several places. Requiring five screws, a slew of painkillers and a two night stay at the hospital. And while he does live close and I have called him several times, I haven't seen him or even actually spoken to him yet. We have, despite growing up in the same home, taken different routes in life. There are no hard feelings between us that I am aware of but, with my life as a stay-at-home-mom and his single and carefree, there seems to be a chasm fueled by different lifestyles that I have been unable to ford. I am worried about him, but I know that when we finally do speak, it will be full of civilities and artifice that should not come with someone you have known since birth. And I hate it.

And I feel tonight as if things are all broken and mixed up and not the way they should be at all. I am wallowing in melancholy that I cannot not rearrange the circumstances of my life to my liking. So, I am putting aside the 200th post celebration/givaway I have planned until tomorrow. And my 201st post. So please forgive me this self-indulgence. It is, after all, the thing that blogging is most often about anyway.

17 comments:

Chrissy said...

Oh, Joy. I know all about those bittersweet goodbyes. It's so sad when the little ones are heartbroken over it, too. Even more sad for us moms who know their childhood is flying by without the loved one there to see it. I wish there was a way to change it.

Sorry to hear about your brother's leg, too. Maybe a new avenue will be opened up for the two of you.

Hope your melancholy lifts soon. Take care of yourself.

Lori said...

I have had family relationships change as we move through adulthood as well, and it makes me feel melancholy too. How do you go from playing chase, and hide and seek, to stilted formalities? It's strange...

I'm glad you had a wonderful visit with your aunt, but I am sorry you are feeling sad now.

Happy 200th! I'm glad you are here!

karen said...

Was it a visit from TWG? Did I tell you she and Uncle Jim came to see the boys play hockey when they did the tournament in Rochester? Much fun! Also, a poignant reminder that we don't get to see D&J nearly as often as I'd like...

I'm sorry about the hardware store in your brother's leg - I hope the pain abates before the painkillers run out!

flutter said...

I am thinking of you, love

Wendy said...

It is hard living far from loved ones sometimes. Especially if you don't have 5 plane tickets in your budget.

Thanks for stopping by and braving the obstacle course of random letters to leave a comment.

Happy 200th! It's been really neat seeing what you're up to after all these (many) years. Take care.

Christine said...

joy, i'm so sorry you are sad friend. i hope your brother is better soon.

remember that i live right in the rochester area, so if you ever want me to do something special for your aunt let me know. i can tell you love her dearly.

Kyla said...

Oh Joy. I'm so sad for you. My family was spread all over as a child and because of that, I don't have any close relationships with any of them. I remember the few times we were together as being infinitely fun, but then we went our separate ways again. It's hard.

(my word verification is oojoy. funny!)

Epiphany Alone said...

It is so hard to be far from those we love, whether that distance is physical or not. I'll pray for opportunities to close those distances in your life.

Happy blogversary, Joy.

Laurel Wreath said...

Oh sweet friend I wish I could say I don't understand, but heart breaks along with you. I live in Florida and all my side of the family live in AZ. They get to see one another, they get to eat dinner occassionally together, their kids are growing up with there cousins.

My boys don't know what having family near by is like. I weep with you, I have yelled, pouted, pleaded to God "why!" Why am I on the other side of the US, it just seems unfair.

I'm praying for you, but understand your heart.
((hugs)) Praise God we live in the age of technology, that helps a little bit.

Lisa writes... said...

This I understand as we too live away from family...

I appreciate your honesty here...you write with such poignancy even in your melancholy!

a happier girl said...

Without fail, I always cry when family members that live far away have to leave. It just sucks. Being a grown up is so complicated.

Karen said...

oh dear, so sorry. Sometimes life just won't sort itself out.
For the record if it were me, I'd make pie and descend upon the sibling, bachelor or no, care-free or no, he's not a moving target at the moment!

slouching mom said...

i'm sorry, hon.

we don't have family near us, either. sometimes it's so hard.


happy 200th anyway.

Don and Lynn said...

I wish more of my extended family lived closer. I miss my cousin horribly and she moved further away this year! It's so much fun when everyone can get together though. Talk about memories! Wow, your brother took quite a fall. Breaking a leg has always been a huge fear of mine. Just not fun! Congrats on 200 posts! Have a fabulous w/e!

the dragonfly said...

Happy 200...looking forward to 201. :)

And hope tomorrow is a better day.

painted maypole said...

it is very hard to be so far from those you love. i've been struggling with that this week as well. hugs and prayers for you...

painted maypole said...

(and rochester! i have family near there myself)