Home Sweet Home...
...so the weekend went really well. We went to Southern Indiana to see my side of the family. Left on Friday to go to my Gran's for her Thanksgiving get together. Is anyone else feeling slapped in the face with the harsh reality of their aging grandparents? Of course, I suppose that, at 31 years of age, I'm quite lucky to have a surviving set of grandparents. But they both have been in failing health lately, and the thought that they won't be around for much longer makes me incredibly sad. I'm so very fortunate to have had all this time with them. And I cherish every second I've had. Even the times when, at 24 month, my twins were still nursing and my Gran was down my throat to stop. But they're some of my very favorite people in the world. I love them dearly. Funnily enough, they're really my step-grandparents. But for the last 23 years, they've embraced me as their own. And "Step" is a nasty word in our family. I aspire to be as loving and accepting as they are.
....another set of my favorite people are my brothers. We are closer now than we ever have been. And I love it. I don't think that I can laugh harder with anyone else but them. We stayed up late last night playing cards. As kids, my parents taught us all the card game Spades. As I told Aaron last night, "The best times in the Rayls household were playing Spades. The worst times in the Rayls household were playing Spades." So playing Spades last night was a very funny thing. We were all half-drunk too, which made it even funnier. Especially since I'd not played it in so long that I'd half-forgotten how to play.
...I've realized a lot over the past year of going home. Many of you know that my parents are divorced and that I'm half-estranged from my biological mother. And to this point it's my own choice. My paternal grandmother is another person I'm fairly estranged from. These people are people who've, in the past, made my trips to southern Indiana a trying and stressful time. And for about the past year, I've not really put in time while down in Southern Indiana to see them. And for about the past year or so, my time in Southern Indiana has brought me a lot of fun memories. I still wrestle with the fact that I've alienated myself from these people, but I will not regret the times that I've had over the past year. I've connected with family who loves me without any craziness attached. Instead of feeling mentally drained, I feel the happy-tired that comes with spending late nights laughing and having a good time with family. I just wish that I could still the small voice in my head that nags at me for being selfish about my time.