The Family

They buried my uncle today in Greensboro. Of course, I wasn’t there. I feel sort of bad, but there was no way I could go east right now. This is the third time I’ve had an aunt or uncle die since I’ve lived in California. I haven’t been able to go home for a single funeral. The time and cost factors are just too prohibitive when you live 3000 miles from home.

I fear it will be a more frequent occurrence in the next few years. Each time there’s a death among my parents’ siblings or their spouses, I think about the fact that my parents are getting on in years too. They won’t be around forever, and I don’t want my last memories of them to revolve around phone calls and one single visit home every year.

I’d like to get to know my parents again before it’s too late.

It’s not as if we’re estranged or anything, and it’s not as if I’m expecting them to die anytime soon. We get along well and we talk often. But we can only maintain a superficial relationship via long distance and email. I want to watch TV with my dad and go shopping with my mom. I want to listen to stories and to go out to dinner with them and even to indulge in the occasional hug.

I’ve spent most of my life running. Running from my hometown and running from all the attention I got as an only child. I often felt that I needed to get as far away from home as possible in order to live my own life on my own terms. And all my life, I’ve kept things from them fearing more that they’d worry than that they’d dispprove or lecture.

Except, of course, in high school, when I was doing lots of rally stupid things so they WOULD notice and stop thinking of me as their “perfect little boy”. But that’s another story entirely…

I don’t feel that urge to run anymore (at least not from my parents). I have my own life, and I think it’s less dependent on geography. I’m not really planning on moving back to my hometown. I just don’ t particularly like it there, for a number of reasons. But I am planning to move a whole lot closer and to do it fairly soon.

I think I can go home now.

Maybe that’s why I had such a great time in Fresno this weekend. Or maybe not. Anyway, the promised “more details” will be coming soon, as will some pictures from the “Mary and Rhoda” hot dog feast Sarah and I had last night…