Only A Motion Away
My mother met me at the terminal when I arrived in North Carolina. My first impression, from a distance, was that she hadn't changed that much. A few more lines on her face, but that was all.
She was so happy to see me - and I was so overjoyed (and relieved) to see her! We ran to one another and embraced and cried like a scene from a movie.
It was wonderful.
When I got to her house, which I had never been to before, as soon as I crossed the threshhold all these memories were brought back by the objects and furniture I saw before me: My dad's rolltop desk, the antique goose-neck rocker that belonged to my granma, the stained-glass lamp. All the things that I grew up surrounded by.
Good memories, mostly.
My mom fussed all over me, as moms do: "Are you eating enough? You look so thin! Are you taking care of yourself? Are you hungry? I could fix you something to eat."
I confess I enjoyed it.
It's been about fifteen years since I was fussed over (by Mom, anyway), and it's been that long since she had someone to fuss over.
So I let her fuss.
At one point we were sitting on the living room floor going through boxes and boxes of photos: of us, of other family members.
We laughed, we cried. (Mom is weepy, like me. I think that's where I get it from.)
She told me of births (my cousin Rebecca has two kids!) and deaths (Uncle Sam, Uncle Ben, and my cousin Brian all died last year).
Life (and death) goes on no matter if you're there to witness it or not.
My Mom seems to be doing OK. I can tell she's still mourning for my father, and I can tell she's frequently lonely, even though she tries her best to hide it. Her sister (my aunt Ruth) lives a ten minute drive away, so there's someone close by, but I still am a little worried about her.
She tries to keep herself occupied though. She goes to Tai Chi classes at the Rec Center down the street from her house. (My mom does Tai Chi! How weird/cool is that?)
I didn't have time to shop for a birthday present for her before I left, but I figured I'd wait 'til I got down there and see what she needed, but she wouldn't let me get her anything! I wanted to take her to the beauty parlor, but she wouldn't let me.
The only way I could pay for her birthday dinner was to intercept the waitress on her way to the table with the check.We went out to dinner every night I was there and she kept snatching the check before I could and paying for us both.
I was like, "Mom, I have money. Let me get that."
"You keep your money, James. I'm just glad to do it, and that you're here."
She's stubborn, my mother. I guess I get that from her, too.
It was a nice visit.
Happy, sad, enlightening.
North Carolina was beautiful, very clean with almost no litter anywhere, and I found the North Carolina accent charming.
I hated to go, in a way. But you can bet I won't be staying away so long in the future. I can't let that happen again - ever.
I didn't realize how much I missed being home 'til I saw the husband waiting for me at the terminal after I disembarked and got my luggage. We both started grinning and we embraced right there, not caring who was watching us.
Rico was so excited to see me he was jumping all over the place, totally unable to contain himself, and I was just as glad to see him.
I love that dog.
There's no place like home!
It's back to the usual stuff at this point, I guess.
I'm back to work tonight, and I need to start getting ready.