It is the best of time and the worst of times. The best of places, the worst of places. The best of me, the worst of me.
I guess that’s what family brings out of us.
I’m spending a couple weeks in Indian territory (Oklahoma and Kansas). I probably already told you that. Before I left, I was counting days. The best memories have been made in my parents’ home. The back porch, the basement bedroom, the kitchen table, the coffee pot…beckon me to relive old memories, embellish treasured moments and create new experiences.
This trip also took me back to my grandparents’ home. I haven’t been there since December 2006. It smelled the same. Most of the same people were there. The only changes were a few more clocks, ticking with their own rhythms and their own special celebrations of every hour. New pictures of weddings and babies fill new frames. Grandma never seems to replace a picture, only add to them. The only change – Granddad wasn’t there.
On the last day there, I laid on my back on the floor in coolness of Granddad’s room. I stared at the ceiling and admired the sameness of the the wall ornaments, law books and old VHS movies. I lost a few tears as they slipped into my ears.
That’s where the best and worst met. The best memories and worst finale – death. You can’t have one without the other. The biggest hugs and funniest conversations around the table with loved ones, inevitably must end with goodbye kisses and sad farewells.
I love being here, but I also seem to lose a bit of myself. It began in the airport. Surrounded by thousands of other people with their own agendas – each as important as and independent from my own, I began to feel as if I was watching myself meander through the terminals. Now, I’m surrounded by my favorite people but I can’t carve out silent moments with Jesus or two uninterrupted hours with my journal. So, which is the real me?