We just returned from a lovely week in Michigan. The past several years we’ve spent spring break in New York, but that wasn’t a viable option this time around and we ended up instead in Detroit for a few days with my parents, and then at the cottage with my brother and his daughter. Being in my childhood home and in the last place I still feel my grandmother’s touch has put me in a mood for reflection.
I also don’t like loose ends, so now is the moment to begin to wrap things up.
When I began blogging here at Babble in 2009 my baby boy was only two. My violin store was a little younger than that. My girls were preparing to go into full day kindergarten and second grade. Ian was preparing for his second deployment to Iraq, and I was struggling with the dread and fear that accompanies what I knew my role in that would be.
It’s interesting to stand here in 2012 and look back on who we were, and who we are now. I don’t have enough words to express how glad I am that my husband is home, safe and sound, working on his own laptop as I type and as we listen to our children laughing at their own invented games in the other room.
Today my son is five and reading. Mona is a second grade artistic marvel. Aden is the tallest girl in fourth grade and has been to sleep away camp and can run errands to Target alone. Ian teaches ROTC cadets at a nearby university. My violin store now has two part-time employees and we’re expanding to include a teaching studio. For our own little family life is looking good from this new vantage point with the trials of the past few years behind us and the future ahead looking bright.
My father is doing well. There have been such frightening ups and downs with his health the past few years, in and out of hospitals, so much stress upon my mom. But as of his most recent doctor’s visit there is no sign of cancer. He gets around with a cane and lives a life at home, retired from his eponymous art gallery, and seems happy. I think about how many times I worried that I would never have a real conversation with my dad again and am grateful for his level of recovery.
I miss my grandmother. She had recently moved to a higher level of care in her nursing home in 2009 and I still can’t believe she’s gone. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her, or wish I could tell her about events in my life both monumental and trivial. She loved me in a way that is gone from my world and that truth is still hard to accept some days. She would have been pleased that we kept her cottage in the family and that her great-grandchildren are building new memories there, laughing, playing the same games I used to, and happily chasing our dog through the woods.
As I reflect back on these past few years and beyond I think my story is a nice one. There is no other one I would have rather lived, and I look forward to what’s ahead. But my story as it’s told here is drawing to a close, so if there are loose ends I haven’t covered or questions anyone has left to ask, now is the time. (But don’t ask me what kind of wood violins are made of, because frankly that one makes me tired.)