…where a brave and beautiful bunch gather every week to find out what comes out when we all spend five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here.
“The doctor said from the size of the tumor it is most likely cancer. Surgery will be this Friday. I’m making the calls.”
I hung up with my mom and started looking up flights to take us to South Dakota again. While I didn’t grow up there, I think of it as their home. My moms. My dads. And their people. Their homeplace. Grandma who is nearing her 90th year on this planet hadn’t been feeling well these last few months. When she fell, the nursing home staff took her to the hospital and what started out as a simple check wound its way into a multiple day stay ending in the word, the diagnosis no one wants to hear. Cancer. In her colon. Softball sized.
She is strong though. She is tough. Make no bones about it. This lady has seen much from her corner of the world and little to nothing keeps her down long.
I spent a couple of weeks each summer as a child going back to the Black Hills, playing and talking and eating with a variety of relatives. My memories of these car trips and stays can be conjured up by a package of horehound drops and a sticky roll placed on a tray alongside a glass of Free Ice Water.
It’s my history. My people. A place I don’t get to spend nearly enough time in now that I’ve grown and started my own family. From the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains it is a long and winding trip. One that often gets interrupted by sickness and weather when the tickets are already booked. But this time, this time the baby and I would make our way there to sit and listen and to wait. To bear witness to this thing we call family. To hear the tales of years past and the stories that are happening now and to hug those people whose eyes hold the same blue I wake to each and every day.
One by one we all made our way to her room each day. Cousins that are no longer so very distant. Aunts and Uncles. We all came. We all sat. We all waited. We were together. Again.