Christmas back at home in Wisconsin.. everything it should of been. Family, Friends, good food, yummy home made cookies, gifts for everyone, too much to cram into a few days that sail by, time spent that will have to tide us over till the next visit.
I am happy I got to spend time with my Aunt and cousins on my Dad's side. Reminded me of when I was growing up and we would most years go to her house for the Holidays. I wanted to hold on to that nostalgia and hear the old stories my family would tell and look threw the photo albums seeing pictures of grandmas and grandpas and great aunts and distant cousins that have passed on or live far far away. I don't get to see or talk to that side of the family that often even though we promise each time to change that and call more often or they would come for visits, it never happens.
I loved being with my sister and brother too. Holding my sister in my arms as she sobbed when we first saw each other I stroked her hair and told her yet again to come down and live with us and she yet again shook her head no. I enjoyed holding my nieces and watching them play with Josh and my kids. I felt overfilled with love and sorrow that we are not closer and can not get together more often.
It was good to see my Mom and her husband, those silly newlyweds that are so in love it makes you want to giggle with them as they gaze into each others eyes. I am glad to see my mother happy and being taken care right. They have an amazing new apartment on the 10th floor of a high-rise on the south side with a wonderful view of the lake. I hope she enjoyed all of us together for once.
It all went by so fast, not enough time to just relax and get to know each other better.. busy busy with the Holiday hustle and bustle. There was so much more I wanted to do too and never got the chance to do it. I love my family and friends that are up in Wisconsin but I am glad to be back home. Going back is good, to be reminded where you come from and thankful for where you are now.
I'm tapping my finger against the keyboard looking for the right way to put my words, how to frame my thoughts about my trip, biting my lip... I could give the rosy lovey, koombia version that Norma Rockwell would of painted or I could give the truth that would not be so sensitive to others, and makes me look like a judgmental bitch. Certainly there is a happy medium seeing how this is my journal to get my thoughts and feelings out?
While my family and friends and me have all grown to some degree or another, going back it felt the same, like they have not changed one bit.. but I have. Felt familiar, that I belonged but it was just not the right place for me anymore. Being back home, well is being back in my past, my roots, and looking at SOME of them I shutter and am thankful I am not where they are at.. prisons of their own making, sad but using what ever to cover the pain and the anger.
When I go home I am always happy and filled with joy to see them but that soon turns to sadness when I see the conditions of their lives. I felt guilty some how for being so blessed while they are so far off from living a life of joy and peace. Any time I began to talk about my life and it's goodness it felt like bragging.. so I didn't. I tried to be chatty and talk about the good things in their life but misery loves company and all some of them could do was complain and shoot down the positives.
And I don't want to be judmental.. not at all. but for the Grace of God I would be just as some of them are. A junkie or alcoholic, a dirty slob, angry, sad all the time, cant hold down a job, cursing the world and taking no restorability for my life..just getting out of jail or heading there, that could of been me. Some of them I wish I could just shake and tell them how much I love them and to look to the Lord, he will help you turn it around but of course a prophet has no honor in his home town and those words would fall on deaf ears. So all I can do is pray for them, love on them, accept them and not put them down.
It reminds me of a time growing up.. my family was often the butt of jokes with some friends and while I felt it was ok for ME to joke about my family and talk about them.. I got to the point after hearing the cut downs about my family, anger grew in me and I lashed out at supposed friends. Who were they to say anything, everyone has something to be ashamed of and what is the point of pointing fingers and laughing at others to make yourself feel better and that has stuck with me. It does sting to see the contrast in my family from a young age to others, and to feel looked down upon. I don't ever want my children or my nieces or cousins to feel that. That one side of the family is better than the other or that there is such things as black sheep.
Visiting my old friends from high school was also surreal.. the whole gang was there. The five of us all gathered together in one place, with our children playing and running around the house. It made me feel old actually. Time goes by so fast, one min. I am hanging out with my friends just tuning 18 and able to buy my first pack of cigarettes legally and the next thing I know I have been married 10yrs buying my own house and am almost 30yrs. Life is a vapor!
Sometimes I wish I could live closer so I could be more involved in these lives, but I have a sense even if I lived next door we would all still be miles apart. So the excitement and wonder of visiting home at Christmas time has passed. I long to go back again but it is time to settle back here and put memories and feelings back on the shelf and entered into my prayer book.