Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The journey home. The journey away from home.

We moved away from Montreal almost 13 years ago. After growing up, going to school, getting married and starting our family there, it was time to replant our branch of the family tree in a city 730 kilometres to the west. Since then, we've become all too familiar with the endless stretch of asphalt known as highway 401 - Canada's, and arguably North America's, busiest - and the aggressively incoherent drivers who menace those who simply want to get to their destination in one piece.

Thankfully, tonight we safely completed our journey despite a long day of near-constant torrential rainstorms punctuated by brilliant sun and even more brilliantly painted skies. Along the way, we texted my sister and brother-in-law as we drove through Toronto, and bantered back and forth with their kids, our munchkins' little cousins. We messaged my aunt - my dad's sister - and uncle as they winged back to Florida. We twittered a huge and hugely supportive community of family and friends, and smiled as responses flowed back to my BlackBerry. We opened the sunroof to watch an Air Canada 777 on final approach to Pearson International Airport pass so closely overhead that it felt like we could reach out and touch its landing gear. We called my mom to make sure she didn't feel alone. We called my mother-in-law to let her know we're praying she comes home from the hospital, healthy and soon. We said a little prayer that we had access to such technology that connected us so richly despite the fact that we were speeding away from them all.

After the trauma of the past few days, our subdued little family pulled into a rain-soaked driveway and opened the door on a suddenly-changed home. The kids helped unpack the van as we tucked cordless phones onto our shoulders and called everyone that mattered to let them know we were here, and that we couldn't stop thinking of them. I walked the dog for the first time in what seemed like ages, relishing the simple pleasure of watching an innocently happy animal romp through the damp grass. We changed into jammies and lingered over tuck-in.

And as the dog curled up in a tiny, impossibly cute ball on my side of the bed, I tiptoed through the darkened house, stopping in each munchkin's room to kiss their heads and tell them that I loved them. Dahlia and Noah were fast asleep, but Zach was still awake. We chatted for a couple of minutes before I held him one last time and headed back to bed. My dad used to tuck us in the same way, and as I trundled back into our room and carefully moved the dog over, I felt a tiny twinge of connectedness to a man who may no longer be alive, but whose spirit clearly lives on in those of us who carry his name and his legacy.

I hope to find more twinges like this one in the days and weeks to come.

15 comments:

Cloudia said...

Very well written truth.
My dad passed in May, and you described my experience very well.

Hearts are with you, Carmi.

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Thom said...

A Carmi...I do believe my friend you are truly starting to live the future and still remember the past and how you obtain your future results. Well done my friend. Baby steps and one day at a time, one tuck at a time, one just moment in time. :) Aloha my friend :)

quilly said...

You could pay no better tribute to your dad than honoring his legacy by loving your family.

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

twinges like that are good........

MB said...

I'm glad you and your family made it home safely.

Your Dad will always be there in your hearts and happy memories.

Gallow said...

Thank you for continuing to share your journey.

Mojo said...

Quilly put it perfectly. I can't think of a single thing to add. Which is rare, I know, but sometimes it's best to not try to improve on a thing.

torontopearl said...

Thank G-d you have the support of family members and friends; you are there for one another, acting as a leaning post. That can help make the difference.
Keep talking to your kids about their zaydie, and let them talk to you and your wife about him. Remember aloud -- and together -- incidents and traits, and you will strengthen those memories.
A close friend, who unfortunately lost his son a few years back, has said it this way: "Absence becomes presence."

Anne said...

Ditto what quilly said. Lovely prose, makes my eyes leak.

Holly Schwendiman said...

So tender. Here's to many more of those twinges. :)

Hugs,
Holly

lissa said...

And you worried about being able to find the words...you're there, you're back - but you never left. You needed to take 10, but you had me visualizing exactly what happened as you returned back home - and thank you for mentioning the pup, because I've been thinking about that reunion.

Keep on keeping on...you continue to inspire me.

Pamela said...

I see my mom looking at me - in my bathroom mirror. i never thought I resembled her until after she was gone.

kcinnova said...

Ditto of Quilly's comment.

Awareness said...

Carmi, what a beautiful human being you are....I love how you share your thoughts and feelings....

Reading about your journey home, I could picture it all so clearly, and personally know the feeling of travelling away and away from home, and rolling into the driveway after living through trauma. then having our dog greet us and romp through the grass...? ahhhh.....

Life is so full of the bitter and the sweet, the joy and the sorrow. It often is crammed inside on suitcase isn't it? And what makes it all the more spiritual is that our loved ones are close by, tucked in our hearts always.....

your post brought me to tears....

Moogie said...

Wonderful. Perfect. This post touched my soul.