This past week my family has been in San Diego visiting my mom's father and brother. Yes, we took two young children on an over four hour plane ride and lived to tell about it! Anyway, California is a second home to me. When the airplane lands, it feels like I've landed in my second home. I've lived there, and I've visited family members too many times to count. We had a lot of fun on our trip. We went to Sea World, the beach, the hotel's pool, but mainly we spent time with family.
My grandfather is 82 years old, and his wife is 92, so I know that each time I see them it may be the last. I try to make sure to spend as much quality as well as quantity time with them. It was great introducing Tot to him for the first time. He never met him, and hadn't seen S. since he was 18 months old! My grandfather's wife cannot travel anymore, and he can't leave her alone. Unfortunately, that means this spry man can't travel either. Every time I see my grandfather and uncle, it feels like a piece of my mom is with me. From the smell of his house to the endless recollections of my mom, I feel her closer to me. That feels so good. I know she would be happy that we went. She told me not to forget my grandfather. The poor man lost his wife and his daughter; that's too much. I was also to remember how sensitive he is. He feels that pain even if he never acknowledges it. So do I.
When I first walked into my grandfather's home, I looked at all of the pictures he had out on display. I saw my mom holding my oldest when he was only mere days old. He was wearing his little Halloween costume, and she was smiling. She looked so happy. I had to turn around because I had tears in my eyes. I remembered the trip that we took together, just her and I, to visit him just ten years ago. We had such a good time, and now she was gone. It felt like there were ghosts surrounding me. The memories just came popping into my head. Our trip there to this house when I was 15, then 18, then 20, then 24, and 31 and now 34. Then all of the countless visits to his former home that he had before he had retired. It confirmed what I felt already. We have lost so much. We all feel that hole in our hearts that no matter what we do, there's no filling it. However, when we do get together, it seems like we saw each other just yesterday. We have such a good time together.
I'm glad we went, even though that meant lugging two carseats on a plane, two children, a stroller, three backbacks, and two pieces of luggage. Man, are Hubby and I sore! Both of the kids were fantastic on the way out there, but Tot was a 'challenge' on the way back! It was definitely worth it, though. Going home always is.