(if this rambles or is too personal, sorry. It’s late. Or early?)
It’s 2am and I’m leaning against the wall in the Syracuse Greyhound station, charging my phone up before the next round of buses. We’re in hour… let’s see… hour 15 of a 27 hour travel day. I think we must be out of our minds to be taking this route instead of flying, but it was so much cheaper. We haven’t outgrown “cheapest is best” yet. Ha. Dad drove us to our first connection yesterday afternoon after a drawn-out goodbye to the rest of the family. Ugh. I’m going to miss them so much. I think this adventure will be worth it, but a year away from my people is a hard pill to swallow. Still. Who knows? It’s possible we’ll meet up again sooner than I think.
The last two weeks have been full of July birthday fun and family time. I haven’t had much time to write. I’ve been too busy sailing with the boys, snapping the ends off of beans on Grammy’s back porch, drinking tea and working across from my mom at the kitchen table, watching stupid movies with dad, and playing euchre. I’ve been busy in all the most laid-back ways. Coming home is strange, isn’t it? Once you move out, the vibe changes. It’s good, but it’s weird.
This next bus will start me and Will on a chain of connections that will eventually (hopefully) dump us in Ohio, where we’ll meet up with family to celebrate his dad’s life and legacy. Will has spent most of the journey thus far working in his notebook on an obituary. It kind of breaks my heart. We aren’t supposed to say goodbye to our parents until much, much later in life. My parents haven’t said goodbye to their parents yet. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Not everyone gets that, though.
This year has been eye-opening to me where our mortality is concerned. I’ve had 6 people in my life die. Some that I knew well, some I was just vaguely familiar with, one I’d never met until I saw him pass away. A few were quite old and ready to go. Some died peacefully, in their sleep or at home with loved ones. Others died in truly tragic ways. I really don’t know how to talk about it and express my thoughts, except to say that I’ve hugged my brothers and parents and people extra tight and extra often lately. None of us are guaranteed any extra time. I used to know that, in the way that you know something you’ve heard over and over again. Now I know it much more deeply, in the way you know something you’ve lived. It’s hard to think that if I’m lucky and have all the years I hope to have, I’ll have to say goodbye to pretty much everyone I know at some point.
I suppose that’s just a reason to live extra loud. Right?
In less than a day, I’ll be hugging my other family for the first time in a long time. We’ll be sad together, but then we’ll go ahead and keep living. We’ll make memories. We’ll hold hands through the tough times, ride literal and figurative roller coasters, travel the world, and take this life thing one chapter at a time. Maybe that’s the best way to honor memories of our people. I don’t know, I’m still learning.
Okay. Time to get on the next bus and keep going.