Monday, October 18, 2010

Ah Home

So after a whirlwind trip last week to Maryland for my granddaddy's funeral - I'm back home and slowly returning to normal.

It was an emotional week, but one that made me so thankful for my family
. We stayed in the most beautiful hotel on Prince George's Island that had beautiful views of the Potomac River from every room.

{view from our balcony}

We had so much fun as a family. On the night of my granddad's viewing, we all came back to the hotel and my parents, siblings, husband, cousins, aunt, uncle and opened (several) bottles of wine and just shared stories and enjoyed our time together.

Anyone who has been through a funeral or two knows that there is something about such a somber occasion that make funny situations all the funnier. We certainly had a few of tho
se this past weekend.

One started when we checked into our hotel and the front desk woman enthusiastically explained to us all the hotel's amenities - including free bikes and kayaks to ride. We didn't think much of it at the time. We
went in, got settled in the room, and decided (after a couple of beers) to walk down to the pier right behind the hotel. Chad spotted the kayaks and decided quickly he wanted to take it for a joyride. Without missing a beat, my brother Mike seconded the idea and the two of them hopped in without a second's thought.


As you can see, they got pretty far out.


Once they paddled in a bit closer, we could see Chad in the back soaking wet, and Mikey in the front dry as a bone. After watching some of the paddling, we noticed that every time Mike dipped his paddle in the river, it would send a spray of water right onto Chad's face.

We yelled at Mike about getting Chad soaked, since Chad obviously wasn't mentioning it. At that point we all had tears streaming down our faces at the absurdity of it all. Then, of course, we got Mike laughing so hard he couldn't stop... and his arms quit working making it hard for Chad to row them both to safety.

Eventually they made it back in. And those bellyaching laughs got us through the weekend.


But back to the seriousness of it all, it was so great to be able to be at the viewing and funeral and hear people talk about my granddad. It gave me such a great appreciation for who he was - and for who my own daddy is. I'm so thankful for both.

The thing that struck out to me most about this whole thing was seeing how my parents interacted with each other. When my dad finally made it home from Maryland two days after my granddad passed, I remembered watching him go into the kitchen and hug my mama for a long time. Even without talking, you could just see the bond they have. I think that is the payoff after all those years of marriage that people forget about. Sure it's not the schoolboy+girl crushes and these grandeur feelings of love and romance. It is beyond that - and deeper. Sure they might not get butterflies around each other every day... but what's left is something beautiful.

It's a shared history. It's getting through all those ups and downs together. It's having your best friend get you through a situation that you would struggle to handle alone.

They've had more than 35 years of being there for each other. A commitment that in this day and age is NOT easy or common. So this experience was a great lesson for me - and one I'll hopefully remember for years to come.

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