Home > Thoughts > At Peace.

At Peace.

Ok. So I suppose this will be a little tribute to my family and the awesome time I had this weekend.

My uncle that lives in Detroit came back to Texas for the first time in seven years. He brought his new wife to meet everyone. Every member from my mom’s side of the family met in Abilene for this. It was pretty crazy. My mom and I were the first ones to arrive that afternoon. That was special to me, because I got to spend some quiet time with Mom and Grandmom. I loved that so much!

Later that afternoon, after a failed attempt at a nap and running on four hours of sleep, we (Mom, Grandmom, and Grandaddy) went to the airport to pick everyone up. I was picking up my dad and sister at Abilene Aero and they were picking up my uncle at Regional. After my dad caused me to get lost on the way home, we finally arrived back at the house. I have to say, I absolutely adore my new aunt. 🙂 Although she’s been married to my uncle for three years, this was the first time for me to meet her. We had a great family dinner that night, despite my dad cracking a joke at every available oppurtunity. I’m waiting for the day when Grandaddy finally tells my dad to just stop talking. Haha.

Saturday morning, all the girls went to some Junior League thing. It was kind of like a massive craft show. I didn’t last long there. Saturday afternoon, I interviewed a Vietnam veteran for a final project for News Writing. I’ll tell about the interview later. After the three hours I spent with that man, I went back to my grandparent’s house. My aunt, uncle, and cousins had all finally arrived. I was so excited to see everyone! I hadn’t seen one of my cousins since he had gotten married about a year and a half ago.

My family, both sides, is dysfunctional…in a good way. Constant teasing and laughing is always taking place. No matter our differences (Like me getting boo-ed out of the room for wearing my Tech shirt), we have so much fun together. I think this is due in part to my dad, because he is always saying something to try to break the ice. Or make fun of me. Take your pick.

We took family photos last night, which was a most interesting affair, complete with my aunt shrieking at the last minute, “Get Hallie in the picture!” Hallie is the dog. There was also a lengthy conversation about how to work the timer on the cameras. All I wish is I had recorded it, because I am not doing this wacky exchange justice.

My grandfather is quiet and stoic, always observing the people around him. The thing about him is, even though he rarely talks, it’s so obvious how much he cares about all of us. My grandmother is a character. She’s always talking. No exagerration. My dad thinks it’s funny to stand behind her and mimic her constant talking. And she always bosses my grandfather around! It’s a constant thing for those two.

I stayed up late last night talking to my uncle. I guess I never really paid him as much attention as I should, but I don’t know much about him. (In my defense, I was 12 the last time I saw him.) Maybe it was the interviewing I did all afternoon yesterday, but I basically grilled him about his life for about an hour yesterday. Haha. I think he enjoyed it though, and now I feel like I know him a little better.

Another great thing this weekend was spending time with my quirky parents and sister. Normally I find it hard to get along with them for an entire weekend, but I just had so much fun with them this weekend. My sister and I didn’t fight once. I convinced my dad to buy me two books (total score!), and I even let my mom cuddle with me for more than half a second. I’m not normally a touchy person with family. But my mom is a very huggy person. All in all, saying this weekend was amazing doesn’t quite come close. I feel connected, safe, loved, and at peace. Better than I’ve felt for a long time. My mom always said family was the most important thing in the world, but I don’t think I realized how true that was until recently.

I was sad to leave Abilene today. I was the last one to go. This trip was for us all to see my uncle again, yes, but the main point of it was for my uncle to see my Grandaddy again–kind of a last visit, if you get my drift. I don’t know when my family will be together like that again. I’ll definitely get to see my cousins in January, which I’m really looking forward to.

 

So anyways. Successfull weekend. My interview with my veteran went very well. I was so nervous yesterday, but he made me feel completely at ease. He is truly an incredible man, and I feel so blessed that he allowed me to speak with him. And he gave me so much time. I barely had to ask questions. He just talked and talked and talked. His stories brought tears to my eyes. I can’t imagine living through what he did. Not only in Vietnam, but in his life as well. (One funny thing: His brother in law is my dentist in Midland. We didn’t figure that out until yesterday.) He inspired me to be better, to appreciate things more, to live life. Maybe that’s why I didn’t waste time fighting with my family this weekend.

I’ve never been so drained after I left his house. I felt as though I had lived 50 years, walked him through his stories, seen Vietnam up close. I never realized how in depth interviewing is, how personal it can get. But I love it; I truly do. That in itself is funny, considering I used to be so cripplingly shy my parents were concerned.

 

So that’s all. Family, love, listening: That was the undeniable theme of this weekend. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving. I get to see my entire Dad’s side of the family…or most of them at least.

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