I haven’t been back to my hometown since April of 2009 when Emily and I flew out to attend my mother’s memorial service. As a geographical location, it’s nowhere near my favorite place. It has become, in my perception, a desolate wasteland full of bad memories and disappointments. I couldn’t wait to get out of there as a teenager, and much to my family’s disappointment, it’s a place I hope I never have to live in again. For it is only my family that ever compelled me to go back there.
They are a gang of boisterous misfits, and when they all get together, it will be loud. There will be a large pile of empty beer cans by the end of the day, and likely something stronger, and possibly illicit. Though I’ve never really been drunk in front of my family, it certainly wouldn’t be a scandal.
One thing I’ve inherited from them is my outspokenness. My husband often laments my desire to debate a point endlessly. Debating was a common past time at my family gatherings, and I’ve become skilled by learning from the best. I was taught to be open-minded and strong-willed. Two things I am very grateful for.
I am thrilled at the prospect of seeing several of my family members soon, and this time I’m making them come to me. It’s often said that many families only gather at weddings and funerals. I am only too happy to provide the former occasion, and in beautiful Honolulu instead of dreary Kennewick. I’m even excited to see my stubborn, conservative, little brother and his family. Political arguments may ensue. That’s just how things work.
I also learned today that my grandmothers are booking their trips, which was a wonderful surprise. Talk about strong women. These ladies are tough and sweet, and they’ve made me a better person.
For a long time after my mom died, I had trouble facing that part of my life. I separated myself from a lot of who, what, and where I had been before. I’m more than ready to reunite with my family for a while. I can hardly believe they are honoring me with their presence at my wedding.
I’m am a bit concerned about how my in-laws will react. Eek!