We had made the move to Missouri in search of better employment. But another perk of the move was being closer to Betsy’s family. One of the disadvantages was being further from mine. One thousand miles dividend both ends. Living at either end means we are close to one and far from the other.
The other solution, to be between, is what my brother did with his location — which made him close to neither.
So with their first granddaughter now 1,000 miles away, my folks took a trip that same summer to visit her. Thus today’s blast from the past.
I look at the pictures from that trip, and think how different things are in them than they will be in a couple months when we have another family visit here, for a big event in that same granddaughter’s life.
What I am noticing is who will be missing that is in these pictures — my dad. How he looks in the pictures, vs. my memories of him, is also an interesting thing. Growing up, my dad was always 6 feet tall. My brother grew to be 6 feet 1 inch (or was it two inches). I topped out (so I thought) at 5 feet 10 1/2 inches. That half inch was important, because my sister was 5 feet 9 3/4.
But in these pictures I am taller than my dad. He also looks older than my main memories of him, and carries a cane. He was always older than I thought he was, having married late, but I can see that even here the Parkinson’s, that finally became the overriding health factor of his later years, was exerting its early signs.
Everyone had a good time together — even the granddaughter who allowed herself to be held and played with and might or might not remember much of all these people that came and went.
You need to learn to take advantage of these visits. The further away you are the more you realize how rare and valuable they are. Everything seems set and permanent while you are together. It isn’t until you look back that you realize how quickly everything grows and changes.