These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

there and back

it's been a long time since i've posted. sometimes it gets hard to do it. i'm unsure why, since i've got time. maybe i find my life boring at times anf eel there's nothing to write about.

now there is.

we returned saturday afternoon (after a 6:20 a.m. flight from san antonio to chicago) from a week-long trip to texas to visit my family. it was the first trip back since my dad died in november.

emotions ran high before we left. i was not sure how to react other than i knew it would be strange without dad around the ranch. i didn't know if i'd be fine or if i'd cry or if i'd be sad.

it turned out that it was a balance. i didn't cry, nor did anyone else the week we were there. i see it as a good thing. we're all coping with dad's death and trying to move forward as best we can.

it ended up being the most relaxed trip we've taken back home after moving to michigan. the first trip back in march 2005 was the first back in more than a year and a half. it was hectic, we tried to visit too many people and i think we failed in simply enjoying ourselves and not setting limitations as to who we'd visit. so we visited everyone. not good.

then two months later dad was diagnosed with cancer. we took our first trip after his diagnosis injune 2005. every trip we've taken home after that, we were dealing with my dad's cancer. it was a dark cloud over us. after awhile we knew he wasn't going to survive and it was a matter of time. we just didn't know when. although we enjoyed ourselves during those trips home, there was always that underlying issue of the cancer.

during this trip that underlying feeling was gone. the dark cloud of cancer was lifted, granted at the expense of my dad's death. i really don't know how to explain it other than the trip was like adeep breath being exhaled and having a sense of relief. very relaxed.

we visited with mom and stayed at her house. i took a beatles dvd for her to watch to take her back to the '60s. she dug it. it was good to see her. she fluctuated between moments of sadness and beign happy. she was glad to have us there, though.

my bro and sis, well, they were cool cats. i saw my brothers only a few days, since he worked, but he took us out to eat and that was very nice. in fact the whole family was together for it at chili's. it was fun. linda was generous, too. we hung out at her house at night and talked and laughed.

and the kids? rena is getting so big. it's hard to imagine. she was the same brat i bundled up one day and put her in a red wagon and took her for a ride. it was cold, but she withstood it. now, she won't even fit in the red wagon. little rena's growing up. fast. ricky, too, is getting taller. he and i went for walks and we even found a turtle (or tortoise). dawn ad i took the kids to corpus to the bookstore. we like to get them reading. it's become some sort of tradition. they like it.

emma grace. good lord, she's big and a chatterbox. she remembered me and dawn. she does call dawn by name, some morphed form of dawn. but it sounds like it. she called me uncle. it's cute. we had fun with her.

we went out to eat countless times, even in san antonio, where we met up with linda and arnold, emmaa and mom (they took mom to san antonio to get out of the house and took emma to the zoo).

we slid back into reality saturday afternoon when re drove back into holland. we napped and rested before tonight. (see previous blog).


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