I am writing this post from a hotel room in a town where I spent my adolescent/teen years. My husband, brother, and I are here to attend the funeral of my stepfather’s mother, who passed away on Thursday. Although she was not our biological grandmother, she was always kind and welcoming to my brother and me.
My step-father isn’t doing well. He has been dealing with COPD for some time now, and has just lost his mother. The four-hour drive here, a change in elevation, and recent illness have left him unable to attend the visitation tonight. We aren’t even sure he will be able to attend the graveside service tomorrow.
Earlier today, a snowstorm came in from the north, so traveling on back roads leading to tomorrow’s destination will be dangerous. Quite frankly, if the roads are not clearer tomorrow, my husband, brother, and I may not be able to attend the funeral ourselves.
Amid the sadness, however, it has been good to spend time with my brother. We don’t see each other much, even though we only live an hour away from each other. It felt very strange to drive into this town we hadn’t spent any significant amount of time in for decades (20 years for me, 30 for him). It brought back long forgotten shared memories for us.
When we arrived, we met a mutual friend for dinner. We reminisced about our middle and high school days. We laughed about things that weren’t funny back when they happened. We talked about our families and just enjoyed each other’s company over dinner.
Now, as I sit in front of this screen, I am thinking about so many things. The sadness of losing a grandparent, the worry over a sick parent, the love for siblings and children, the gratitude for good friends and a loving spouse, and the nostalgia of a place I used to call home.
So tonight I will allow myself to set aside the present I so often try to stay in, to go down memory lane. I won’t stay there too long, but while I am away from the responsibilities of home I will indulge myself.