Friday, January 20, 2012

Reunions in the Midwest

Until recently, the last time I could remember seeing my father was during Christmas time over a decade ago. I know it wasn't for any lack of his interest in seeing me or the rest of the gang, the family dynamics made it pretty impossible for him to visit even if he had the means. So years passed, along the way I said I would try to make my way out to him wherever he was; Washington at first and then later Arkansas when he relocated. 

There were weeks in Louisiana I'd think about how close I was but finding a way north never panned out. As my sisters got older they talked to our dad more often in effort to get to know him and create a bond, with that I ended up talking to him more frequently and eventually it lined up to where we set dates for my visit. I was really nervous! Also really excited. He was the same guy he always was - maybe a little trimmer around the waistline and greyer in his beard, but all in all the same.
My siblings and I have large interests and blanketed mannerisms, quirks and qualities that very much bond us together and create a common unity. But there are other things that, not to speak on anyones behalf but my own, have made me feel like an odd ball out. And after spending a few nights with my dad it was like my world was all flippy floppy! It was nuts! I knew where I got my love of all things art, traveling and music (grandparents, mother). But my crazy interest in castles, in cooking? Apparently even my lackadaisical stroll-walk. We had so many real 'people' things in common beyond DNA that misshapen pieces of who I was started looking less odd and more normal.
Thankfully there wasn't ever an awkward stage to get past, maybe for a millisecond after the arrival gate but by the time we actually said hi it was over and gone. Heather showed me around town, I made them cinnamon bun waffles for breakfast and desserts on Thanksgiving. I loved it there. So many thrift stores and great finds and nice people. I seriously contemplated taking a quasi-sabbatical and extending my stay by two months.

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