The BIGGEST goings on around these parts occurred this past weekend, though. My older sister, nephew and my little brother drove in from SC to visit me! It was about a 17 hour drive and the first time they had ever visited me since I've lived in the Midwest. I've been out here since 2006, so you can imagine how over the moon I was that they came. I mean, it's one thing to hear about my life via sporadic phone calls or FB messages, it's another thing entirely to stand in the kitchen where I cook meals every day or drive the backstreets I take to go into town. In an odd sense, it's almost a validation of sorts. Here I am, this is my life.
We played games late into each night, examined bits and pieces of our collective past and laughed. Oh, the laughter. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. When they left early Monday morning, I felt very sad. Sort of lost, really. Sometimes, it's very difficult to live so far removed from family. When I left at 18, I didn't think about that. I didn't weigh the pros and cons, I simply wanted out. Having the boys and having experienced many holidays and birthdays separately from everyone has in essence, created that well that now needs filling.
The Midwest is beautiful in its own way, but I want to go home. Not necessarily back to Charleston, but close. Perhaps North Carolina? I've always loved it there. And then maybe for the first time, I can finally settle my roots. They've been unsettled for far too long.
I'm really thankful that they came to see me. It filled my well for a bit and reiterated what I've been feeling for quite some time.
Home is important. Family is home.