Thoughts of a Weary Traveler

Somewhere in the middle of Montana

I could write about this year, and what an absolute train wreck it’s been but we all know that already, so why not channel my thoughts in a different direction instead.

Also, no year will ever compare with 2018, the year i lost my mom. The world stopped spinning that day, momentarily, i forgot how to breathe on my own. I forgot how to live.

Almost two and a half years have gone by, and yet I can still recall every minute of that day. I can still feel every single emotion weighing on me just as they did when we first said goodbye.

I haven’t written in a while, life has been busy and it’s been weird. Traveling usually prompts a new blog post, so here we are.

Sunday i drove 13 hours with my baby sister, not that she’s a baby anymore. She’ll be 21 in December, I’m not sure when we all grew up. I drove from California to Montana with her, she’s starting a new life there. It was such a bittersweet experience, partly because we drove so far and i only got to spend about 19 hours there before flying home for work; but also because whenever one of us has moved to a new place, my mom often came to help us get settled. So for me, to do the drive, and see her off to her new home without my mom, was a tough one. I found myself wishing that I wasn’t the one doing it, because maybe then that would mean, mom was instead.

It also means, that for the first time my dad is completely an empty nester. The only time we’ll be back to his house is for visits, there was always the question of whether Emily would stay and live with him a little longer. Part of me wishes she had, but the rest of me is proud of her for following her dreams (even if i don’t always support them, as long as she’s happy, I’m happy).

I worry about my dad rattling around in his big house alone, he’s done it before, when Emily was still at college- after I’d moved up here to NorCal. I know he likes the quiet and alone, and he has the dogs, but our lives changed so drastically 2 years ago, that i worry anyway.

I think back to the beginning of 2018 and how different life was, before the diagnosis, before the grief, the loss, and the life changes. I know I’m not the person i was back then, but i still don’t really know who i am. I’m still searching for what makes me happy, for my passions. I’m still working towards nursing school, but i can’t ignore the nagging feeling that i should be pursuing something else. That there’s something bigger out there for me. It sounds kind of crazy when I write it out. Nursing is such a rewarding career, and I know I have the personality for it. Yet, I still can’t fight the feeling. Until I figure out whether there is something more waiting for me, I’m going to keep pushing myself for the degree. This would have been something, I would have hashed out with mom. Probably about a million times before she would finally tell me that I had to follow my gut and just make the dang decision. Times like this, just make me miss her more.

I think about when I was teaching in the preschool near our house, I’d get to come home on my lunches and sit with her for half an hour. Sometimes she’d just sit at the table while i made lunch, and then keep me company while i talked about my morning and what i wanted to do with my life.

Sometimes, we’d just sit in silence, in the garden, enjoying the whisper of the trees and the chirping of the birds. I didn’t realize how much i took those little moments for granted, until lately, when I take a lunch break and wish I was sitting in our kitchen in San Diego, talking about everything and anything.

I’d give away all my tomorrows if it meant getting one more day with her.

If it only it were as simple as that. So I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing, working hard and striving to be someone she would be proud of each and every day.


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