It has been almost 7 months since I took a needed vacation south of the Mason-Dixon.
I am ready for another trip, ready to finally meet a granddaughter born 5 months ago, and visit her twin sisters who I met only twice during their 1+ years on this earth.
The idea of family closeness has been impressed onto my subconscious my entire life. The stereotypical battle around the family Thanksgiving gathering is unknown to me. We are surely not perfect since you could never put six individual siblings in a household and expect anything close to perfection. We have all grown to a closeness that solidifies our relationship; blood is truly thicker than water.
It pains me to realize that I join many others who must deal with family members who live in other states. Yes, email and Skype has softened some of the blow, but there is nothing like personally gathering together every few weeks for a meal, conversation and laughter. Bonding with grandchildren is ever so important, you really only get a handful of years to do so, and then they are off with friends, college and onto lives of their own.
These years vanish quickly. The fleeting of time has hit home this week while watching a Ken Burns video.
I watched “Horatio’s Drive” and was held hostage by the story depicting a man’s struggle to be the first to successfully navigate across the continent in an automobile.
After listening to a discussion regarding the benefits of horse-drawn carriages vs. the newfangled invention, the automobile, Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson, on a $50 wager, and a whim, decided to go purchase a Winton automobile, secure a driver-mechanic Sewall K.Crocker, plan a journey in only 3 days and embark on a quest.
Dr. Jackson’s journey began on May 23, 1903, exactly 49 years before I was born!
I was amazed at the realization that less than 50 years before my birth there were no real cross country roadways, and also in that year the Wright brothers were launching their airplane at Kitty Hawk, NC. The passage of time made me realize that the small town I adopted as my hometown where I moved only 40 short years’ ago seems like yesterday.
Every visit to see distant family members is precious, and too short. There is always a sense of loss at departure time, a wonder if any bonding was solidified, if grandchildren will miss you, remember you with fondness and look forward to your next gathering.
I can only hope for the best, and look forward to this reunion and a first meeting, long awaited.
If you want to see an outstanding video, watch “Horatio’s Drive”. It is a great story of hope, determination, and overcoming obstacles. A historic drama sprinkled with warmth and humor.
You will not be disappointed in the time spent.