After packing and unpacking various bags and driving through several states in our beloved 2000 Honda CRV that has a few quirks that we have grown to love and behold… we have officially visited our long distance family members and the fulfillment is remarkable.
I could share the funny details of a total of 44 hours in a car with a six-year-old and a nine-year-old…
* My six-year-old son screaming,“MOMMY!!! My BUTT won’t stop itching and I can’t itch it!”
* My nine-year-old daughter singing for HOURS, over and over and over again…at the top of her lungs while listening to her ipod, “What doesn’t kill you makes you STRONGER…”
* Me: “STOP WHINING NOW AND LOOK AT THOSE BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAINS OR I WILL CLIMB BACK THERE AND MAKE YOU REALLY CRY!!!!!”
I could share funny details of things gone wrong…
*AC in the car breaking while driving SOUTH into the baking scorching heat.
* Wrestling my six-year-old son off a bunk bed during a violent, screaming night terror around 2:00am.
* And my favorite: The valet at the Chicago hotel pulling up in a Mercedes Benz and handing us the keys. (Quite tempting I must say…)
I could share memorable moments…
* A toast my father gave in cherishing 30 years with his second beloved wife. When my father chokes up, it means something.
* My sister showing me her mutilated breasts and her fresh incisions from yet another surgery as the gut-wrenching “Cancer” identity continues to consume her and change her world.
* Watching my nephew in his ‘element’ playing ball and showing his gifts as he grows and changes right before my eyes. And tearing up as I cheered my precious niece doing butterfly in a swim meet race. Seeing them in their world, made every maddening hour in the car thoroughly worth it.
* Sharing in the sisterhood of laughter and jokes led by my mother’s unconditional acceptance and interrupted opinions. Our traditional family roles are steadfast even though we have all changed in so many ways.
* Seeing Chicago over and over again never gets dull or boring. Taking my kids to the 96th floor of the Hancock building, the American Girl Place, the Field Museum, the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel, and the Double Decker Tour Bus never gets old!
Family: Webster’s Dictionary defines this word as…
Parents and their children. Considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not.
Family: My definition…
A group of people that have a lifelong commitment to love each other through suffering, triumphs heartache, changes, disease, death, failures, struggles, celebrations, achievements, laughter, success, conflicts and dreams fulfilled.
There is no family without it conflicts, its suffering, its losses, and its pain.
There is no family without its joy, its celebrations, its traditions, its dedication, and its undying love.
I am so grateful to have my family. My broken, quirky, sick, hilarious, annoying, conflicting, strong, vivacious, stubborn, dysfunctional, forgiving, opinionated and enduring family.