Ah, Michigan! We’ve been here for just 2 days. It’s amazing how much a person can fit into such a short period when that’s all one has to work with. It makes me wonder why I usually accomplish SO little in my regular day-to-day life. Of course, not having to go to work definitely frees up a little time…
I met my niece yesterday. Perfection… It still amazes me how deeply you can love someone you just met – someone who can’t talk or even hold up her own head for more than a minute. I completely adore her. She is such a beautiful blend of my brother and his gorgeous wife. She is so well-loved and that just makes my heart sing. So many things in this world are highly valued, but this: family/love/relationship, it’s the THING. It’s what we yearn for above all else, even when we don’t know what it is we are missing.
So, I’m thankful that they let me hold her and spend time with their family. I’m thankful for friends that have given us a place to stay and make us feel so at home. I’m thankful for a big brother that makes time for us.
I also found out the morning that we left for Michigan that my aunt passed away. She was the aunt I was always closest to while growing up. We named our Hannah Elizabeth after her. I really love her. She gave me a picture when I was a girl of her Sweet Adelines singing group. All of the women had on these gorgeous blue dresses with feathery things in their hair. My aunt was breathtakingly beautiful. I remember feeling so special when she gave me that picture. I always knew she loved me. She was a gift to me growing up. Some of life’s junk in recent years caused us to lose touch until a few months ago. When I saw her I was a bit terrified that she would reject me. But true to form, she loved me. She hugged me and we told each other how much we love each other and then we spent the evening holding hands and being happy in the moment. Another gift from her and Him. I’m not sure if I can convey in written word how thankful I am for that time with her.
I want to be an aunt who communicates love to her nieces and nephews without condition. It’s harder now that I’m far away. Family dynamics get in the way sometimes. So, I pray, I love, I hope.
Michigan is always SO complicated for me. Never just a simple visit. So much baggage, history, emotion… The irony is that it isn’t really Michigan, it’s family/love/relationships – the THING that I long for.