Family, Together

Ball Family - Wtr-Spr 2006 041
Maggie, Jimmy, and Danny with their cousin Ellen – Easter, 2006.

Today, Easter Sunday, was the first major holiday in twenty years that we weren’t all together as a family.  Our oldest is away, a sophomore in college. There have been lots of ways, large and small, over the past two years that our family life has changed. But not enjoying a big holiday together just kind of snuck up on my wife and me today.

We joined my brother and my nephew at my parents’ house for a nice Easter brunch today.  It was great to see my folks and my brother and his son.  I love being back in the house I grew up in, too.

Being there for part of the past two days reminded me of the year that I moved away from my home, and my parents, and my brother.  It was 1989, and I was twenty-five years old.  My best friend, Michael, and I moved from Rochester, NY to Seattle, WA – a distance of over 2,600 miles.

I missed being with my family for every major holiday for about two or three years after I moved away.  Even though I wasn’t physically with my mom and dad and brother on those big days, I never thought for a moment that they weren’t with me emotionally.  Once a family, always a family, whether you are together in the same place or not.  It took moving away from home for me to realize that.

I wasn’t exactly alone for the holidays out in Seattle though.  Michael had extended family in Washington State.  His aunt and uncle and his cousins were nearby and they took great care to make sure we were always with their family during the holidays.  This made being away from my own family at holiday time much more bearable.

Thinking back on the first times I was away from my own family during the holidays helped me realize that today wasn’t the beginning of the end of our family of five.  We called Dan today, and we Skyped with him too.  But even if we hadn’t have done that, I know that we’re family, always a family…whether we’re together in the same place or not.  I just hope Dan realized that today, too.



8 thoughts on “Family, Together

  1. “It took moving away from home for me to learn that.”

    What a great insight. One I’m sure your son is recognizing now also. Apple & tree. I’ve truly enjoyed all of your posts this month, especially the musings on family and the various modes of your writing.Your students are blessed to have you model not only the forms of writing, but the heart of a writer. What a joy to read your stories and reflections shared with the Slice of Life community.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know how you feel. I was the first one to leave the country, from Philippines to here, Canada. Next, my sister moved to Australia. Then, my cousin works in the Middle East. A couple of years ago, we were able to go back home for Christmas. But then, who knows if it will ever happen again. In our hearts, we are still going to be one family, no matter how much distance we are apart from each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One good thing about being our age is that we can look back on our life and make connections to the present. Sometimes we do that for ourselves, sometimes for others (students, friends, family) but it is the kind of reflection that makes us whole.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The interplay between past and present brings an emotional moment to life here. The love you express for your family (near and far) is admirable. Your blog is a gift of the present times and someday will be a gift for looking back.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In my heart, I miss going home to “my house” every holiday. My parents have been gone for 15 years. But life continues with new memories and children and grandchildren and embracing the change. It’s all good. College will help your son respect you and the family even more. Just wait…the best is yet to come.

    Liked by 1 person

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