Re-living,Releasing,and Rebirthing a Family
We drove from the airport to Northeast Maryland, just north of Baltimore, for the last time. My sister, brother-in-law and I began our 5-day journey of reminiscing, joy and tears. It was a sunny day as we turned the corner down the long entrance road, golden fall leaves adorning the trees. We arrived at 107 Riverside Drive for our final visit.
As we traveled along I-95 north, we commented on how fortunate we were that Mom and Dad are still "with us" as we go through the releasing of one of their homes. At least we weren't doing this "after the fact" just yet. They are now in their 80's and can't come up north anymore due to health. Florida is home now.
I remember many road trips to the bay as my children were growing. After 11 hours in the car, 3 kids, 2 parents and a dog, we would always look so forward to that last leg down the beautiful road lined with trees marking the entrance to Hances Point. The excitement would always be so palpable as we turned the last corner at the rock, knowing Grammom and Grandpop would be there looking for us. It was a yearly tradition.
The waves on the bay, the sparkling sun's reflection on the water and the crunchiness of the leaves under our feet welcomed us to our summer childhood home of more than 30 years and 50 years of family time spent on the Chesapeake Bay. Our parents were sailors, so we all came here from infancy on to sail, spend summer vacations, become expert crab "pickers" and eventually bring our children and grandchildren too.
Can you tell which one is me? I'm second from the left. Already practicing my tadasana!
The stages of growing, loving, and facing family challenges shape all our lives. We relived so many memories of these stages throughout the process of packing, dividing up keepsakes and filling our trucks and PODS. What a gift it was to have other family members like our aunt, cousins, and nephew come to help. Some I hadn't seen in 17 years.
Just like yoga and meditation, packing a family home released so many emotions from within us. Tears welled in our eyes, joy, laughter and past hurts or misunderstandings surfaced. We faced real life.
And those unexpected healings that presented themselves were welcomed. Life is really too short to hold on to resentments. We are all on our path. Even within our own family members! Family, often the most intimate, can be the hardest relationships to navigate.
To reconnect with the first grandchild, my nephew who was born when I was only 17, was a gift from God. How incredible to see how he'd grown into such a beautiful man, married with 2 children now.
We exchanged phone numbers and email via our smartphones and shared business cards. I know in my heart we re-birthed new relationship to carry us forward.
They says some of our best gifts come in difficult packages. Although we were letting go of our summer family home, so much sadness and tears in saying goodbye, a new family was birthing. New summer traditions to begin with our own families now.
My cousin packed her Connecticut SUV with Mom and Dad's loveseat, colorful lamps, and kitchen keepsakes. My sister and brother-in-law packed their rental truck with a few antiques, garden goodies and patio furniture on which we all spent so much time lounging, discussing the world, nursing babies and enjoying many a cocktail hour.
My aunt tucked a few lovely things in her Honda, my nephew backed up his truck and took Grandpa's desk, an honor to carry home to his home office along with Grandpa's favorite chair, and I filled my POD with lovely keepsakes for my home and some to sell.
The last one to depart on a windy day, I said my final goodbyes to 107 Riverside Drive, tears brimming in my heart and in my eyes.
I began my journey back down the long entrance road and headed to the airport; fewer leaves were on the trees than I'd seen 5 days earlier. The ending of an era; the beginning of another.
As we say in yoga: Sa Ta Na Ma, this is the cycle of all. Infinity, Life, Death and Rebirth.
So long Northeast, MD. Til we meet again.
Thanks for all you gave to us.....