So I recently went thru a loss in my family. One of dad’s brothers has passed on. Another great man we are without. My heart is heavy from this. But I did have a happy realization thru this all.
I live in Northwest Washington, just south of the Canadian border, and one of my 9 siblings and I decided lets take off and go to the service. He rented a car, we reworked our schedules, booked a couple hotel nights and took off. And off we went. We left Thursday at Noon to make it to a Friday at Noon service. Just like so many times we have drove this, I’ve gone on nearly 20 road trips to California in my life, we hit I-5 and hammered down (Eastbound and down… Load it up and truck it… We gonna do what they say can’t be done – Please tell me at least one or two of you out there know this favorite song of mine?!?).
I loved it. I tend to listen to older country music and he knows every song like I do. And I warned him I’m Dwight Yoakam heavy on my selection. Didn’t matter. He knew and loved all the same I do. I love bad food at truck stops, he does also. I can drink coffee like its going out of style and love the caffeine high, so does he. I want to stop at tacky places, so did he. Gun shop in a mall, sure lets check it out. Some where I haven’t eaten in 10+ years (last time I had been to NorCal) he hadn’t either and wanted to go by. Liquor store I had heard so much about from my older siblings (I’m considerably younger) that I had only been once to, we hit it up.It makes me reflect on how much I am a product of my environment. Damn proud of it to. I, like so many in my hometown – or even around this country, was not born with a silver spoon. Blue collar family all the way. A dollar saved is a dollar earned and all that jazz. Sorry folks a little bit of reflection and sentiments here. And I have a feeling so many people who read this, or follow me on facebook or twitter, can relate.
So back to the bittersweet moments. Only one cousin, of quite a large family, really knew we were heading down and boy did we surprise the rest. The looks of astonishment were fantastic btw. And luckily an Aunt realized we were a little in the surprise element and rushed us up to sit with her. With that my Uncle performed an amazing service for his brother. How he didn’t cry I’ll never understand. An extreme amount of kudos to him. I would have lost it. Hopefully for my own family I don’t ever have to do it. Just blubbering and stumbling thru – I’m giving my family a heads up here. Don’t ask me!
An amazing service and a nice family get together after the service at a local club. Heard my uncles, family, family friends and folks I’ve never met tell hilarious/funny/sad/thoughtful/emotional stories and memories. Which to me is the best part of any service. I mean, I even met a family friend I hadn’t been around since I was a year or 2 and the last time he saw me I puked on him. But we took a great photo now and he has forgiven me – Sorry KH! The memories and thoughts. I only want to be remembered with the funny stories of remember when… oh that one time… here’s a funny story of…
So I flash forward after the family get together we checked into a shady motel. Definitely not a place I’ll ever stay again. We check in and meet a few minutes later. My brother is telling me about his nice room with new carpet and paint. Um I have scary carpet and peeling wall paper. So after we determined that something questionable happened that new carpet and paint had to cover the awkwardness I’m almost happy with the creepy carpet and wall paper. Almost, but not quite. We leave and go to a cousins house to meet up with more family for snacks and a well deserved glass of wine or two.
Now I’m from Washington, folks around here don’t take shoes off when they enter your house. Your pant legs are wet, which will make your socks wet, etc etc. We tend to leave our shoes on. Well smart me planned ahead and grabbed her slippers with solid rubber bottoms. House slippers for the win!! But then had a moment of realization clicked in that I’m being my mother. Gingham pastel shirt – check. Soft pants – check. Hair in a bun – check. Wearing slippers – check. Oh crap I’ve turned into my mother and now I’m wondering when the hell did that happen?!? Did I miss a right turn somewhere. Well now I have to live with that.
Then my cousins, aunts, uncle and two brothers start talking. Holy crap I speak like them. Same jokes, same mannerisms, same laugh, same funny stories, same silly crap of annoyances. OH MY GOODNESSS I’m my Family!! What the hell? When did this happen? Did I slowly slip into it? Did it just jump forward without me knowing? Now I am at a loss and realize that having that second glass of wine might not be the worst option out there for me.
But then I sit back and realize I’m good with it. We are quirky. A bit oddball. Tend to be wacky. Very eclectic. Music lovers all the way and so so so many other things. But these are what makes us such a unique group of individuals and I like it. Like it so much I’m planning the next time I roll down there. Roadtrip, possibly? Fly down and rent a car to drive up? Honestly any way I do it, it doesn’t matter. The fact that I go and see them is truly all that means anything. And even if I am becoming my mother, or any family member for that fact, at least I’m having fun and I feel comfortable turning that way. Well except that I realize my crazy may need a glass of wine or two. Especially for my husband. But he just might need a beer for it 🙂
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