My parents are driving to Illinois today, they left yesterday afternoon and have probably arrived by now. My sister and brothers are flying in. All my cousins and aunts and uncles who live out of state are boarding planes and flying or driving. They will all meet up in the small town of Winchester, Illinois where my dad and his five brothers and one sister were born and raised. But not me. I’m here at home in Massachusetts and the only place I’ve traveled today will be the grocery store.
My grandmother’s funeral is at 10 on Saturday morning and I won’t be there. I’ll still be home in Massachusetts with my husband and children. My heart is heavy. Oh how I long to be there.
After two bright, sunny, Indian summer days, November has returned to it’s regularly scheduled gloom and today has turned to gray skies and rain, rain, rain.
In my mind I keep imagining being on a plane, driving in the car. I see the children and I somehow negotiating the journey. But the truth is there are logistical difficulties that I cannot daydream away. And so we stay.
I so want to see all my cousins, my aunts and uncles, my parents and my brothers. I want to hug them and see their faces. I want to cry with them and laugh with them and share all our memories of that spirited, spunky woman, my Grams. Oh my heart is heavy with longing. It is a drizzly November in my soul.
I missed my Gram’s 90th birthday party five years ago. It was an awesome bash, or so I’ve heard. I think almost everyone was there, all the far-flung Scotts who are usually scattered all over the country came together for a gala night. But I was 8 months pregnant with Bella and my doctor wouldn’t let me travel.
Oh the regret has hung heavy on me the last five years as I’ve heard the reports and followed my grandmother’s decline from a distance, always longing to go for one last visit and yet never finding the money, the time, the opportunity to get there. That’s life when you have four kids in five years. I know traveling with small children is not impossible; but it is logistically challenging enough. Add to that financial straights and, well, there you have it.
I wanted to fill this space with lovely memories of my grandmother but right now those words won’t come. Hopefully in the coming days I will find time to put them down, to celebrate that wonderful life. But today it is just rain and sadness. So I’ll bake a loaf of bread and read stories and sing songs and help with art projects and nurse the baby and make dinner and do some laundry and tidy up toys and put four little children to bed and spend some time with my husband. And I’ll know that all of those things are good and worthwhile and what I should be doing. But my heart is stretching for a little town in southern Illinois and a reunion with other loved ones who I haven’t seen in far too long.
It is what it is and there is no neat and tidy way to tie this up into a pretty package so I’ll just end and post here. A fragment seems just about right for this shattered feeling.