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The goodbye trip.

We took a trip, just the two of us. It was a trip I did not want to take. Not because I didn’t want to see my people, but because it was a goodbye trip. I went home to Oregon to say goodbye to my grandpa, for the last time.

One thing I have wanted to share with Bryan is Dim Sum. He had never had it before, and where better to eat seafood than at the coast, where it is fresher than fresh. He Loved it. Being able to share this with him was so special to me as Dim Sum was one of my few positive memories from home.

As we finally left the city, and the roads shrunk to two lanes, twisting through mountains and moss-covered tree’s, I kept rolling down the windows waiting to finally smell the salt in the air again. Going home for me is painful. I yearn to be there all the time, to smell tree’s, the ocean. To feel the grass, the moss, the sand. To feel the moisture in the air, on my face. Hear the waves crash on the beach. If I had had more time, I would have sat on the beach and put my toes in the water. I would have stayed there and gotten wrapped up in the peace that comes when you are still and quiet your mind. I would have rolled in the grass and the ferns. ‘I would have had a conversation with my river, like I used to. I would have mourned it all, the healthy way. But I didn’t. Instead, I was strong and held it in, with a plan to cry at home instead.

Oregon and Washington are the most beautiful states. I don’t remember the tree’s being so big. ‘It makes you feel small like an ant when you look up at them. It also makes you feel safe at the same time. Even the tree’s covered with moss from root to tip, dancing in the wind looking like creatures in the forest.

It was good to spend time with my family and friends. My uncle made a 5-hour drive just to spend a few hours with us. My grandpa was strong enough to visit without his CPAP machine for hours. I learned so much from this visit about myself. The most important thing I learned was how loved I am. Not going home very often, I focus on the negative side of my past a lot and I realized I had convinced myself I didn’t deserve to be loved. I was so wrong. Hearing my family tell me they felt like I was their daughter. Hearing them say how proud they are of my achievements in life and of me opened my eyes and I felt overwhelmed and surrounded by love. I needed that. I hope I made them feel the same.

We were able to take a 3 generations photo.

My grandpa gave me his Army dog tag. I always thought that I would not have heirlooms because my mom and I do not speak. That meant the world to me. I hope my grandpa knows that.

Driving back through my hometown was heartbreaking. All the memories came flooding back and I felt like I was suspended in time, like none of it was real, like I wasn’t really there. Even now typing this at home in Missouri, it feels like it was all a dream.

I got to spend an evening with my best friend. Sarah and I have known each other since we were in diapers. She was my first roommate when I moved out. She has been my ride or die for almost 38 years. Friendships like this, you pick up right where you left off like 12 years had not passed since we last hugged. We laughed and cried. We talked about our lives. Our struggles and our successes. In this space, I was again reminded how much I am loved. How important my presence on this Earth is to my people. MY PEOPLE. For so long I felt like I didn’t have anyone. Like outside of my family, I had built and my few family members I have in my life, I wouldn’t know the unconditional love of family like this. I was wrong and it has never felt better to say that. I truly hope that she comes to visit me in Missouri, because I know in my heart this was probably my last trip back.

We had a very long layover in Las Vegas. While it as beautiful to fly over, I only wanted to be home.

This trip, even though I didn’t want to go, was incredibly healing for me. Yesterday I spent the day snuggled up with my Francis, who was still pretty mad at me for leaving him and reflected on this trip. I felt at peace for the first time in a long time. I felt like some of the holes in my heart had healed. I am tremendously grateful for my family, and for Sarah and her family. For My husband who got me where I needed to be and for being my rock. This trip also shown me that Missouri is home, as I had struggled to feel at home here. I now know this is right where I want to be. Missouri is home.

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