Friday and Saturday October 5-6, 2012
You stop for gas, stop for coffee, stop to pee, stop for lunch. So I got to
Charlotte and Carla welcomed me warmly. Are they capable of anything else? They are mother and daughter and my 1st and 2nd cousins. No doubt they think I'm quite mad to be traveling this way but are too polite to say it out loud.
We have had such fun the past two days! They took me out to dinner Friday night and that was the last time we left the house. We had plans for Saturday but, about 4 PM, we stopped pretending and decided to stay put. The fact that it was gray and rainy helped. This is the house that my parents and I visited many times over the years and I relished being back in a place of such good memories.
And, of course, we have been talking and laughing non-stop. Staying up late, sleeping late. All good stuff.
We’ve shared a lifetime. How lucky we were to have such a great extended clan– each member gentle and loving. I think we always knew it. I sure did.
We watched 2 hours of home movies that I had never seen before and all of it touched me deeply. It was touching in a way that one can only experience looking backwards, knowing how their stories end. A lantern on the stern. At 54, I am the youngest of my generation, and the past is starting to feel pretty poignant.
Watching that young, hopeful, skinny, energetic bunch - all gone now - reminded me of this poem
~ Departures ~
They seemed to all take off at once: Aunt Gracewhose kidneys closed shop;
Cousin Rose who fed sugar
my grandmother’s friend
who postponed going so long
we thought she’d stay.
It was like the summer years agowhen they all set out on trains
and ships, wearing hats with veils
and the proper gloves,
because everybody was going
someplace that year,
and they didn’t want
to be left behind.
~ Linda Pastan ~