With only two days before I go home, I said good bye to my adored cousins who drove down the state of
One of their gifts was a CD with movies from different events in the family, including all the aunts and uncles who are gone and cousins who look decades younger probably because they were decades younger when the videos were taken. Of course that was on an old fashioned camera and the films have been transferred from technology to technology.
I listened to one of my late aunts tell how her mother sent her off the Nova Scotian island where she was living on because she was a handful, how she moved to the States and had to learn English. She pushed her 70+ years into about three minutes not thinking her life was interesting. Now she is gone both family and social history are forever lost. Yet I suspect the few details she singled out were the markers of her life.
We talk about our childhoods and our parents, how they mellowed, the mistakes they made with us, the mistakes we made with our children, which were different but still mistakes. We speak with pride of our children as we were bragged about by our parents.
The bittersweet feeling of being with people I love, people who share DNA, people with whom time is much too rare is mixed with the feelings of not belonging to the culture surrounding them. There is also the feeling of the time lost, because I never knew my cousins as I was growing up so when they reminisce I can only picture myself popping in and out of Aunt Aggie’s house or playing in a barn or rushing around the streets of Weymouth.
Despite what I missed there is a past I can not recapture. And for two weeks I have lived in a present where I do not belong with people I belong with.
Thus, inshallah, on Sunday night I will get back onto a plane and back into the place that has become home. I won’t miss seeing medical or legal ads on TV, I won’t miss Miss