Tuesday, November 20, 2012
My eldest got a ride home from college last night for the Thanksgiving break and when she suddenly appeared in our living room, I had a glimpse of what sort of emotions stirred within my mother- all those years of family life and all her children returning fresh from a road trip, plane flight, train station or bus depot. My father, when I was growing up, was always the designated parent for pick ups. He was the one I would see at the curb at the airport, patiently waiting for me to emerge from the baggage area. He was not the sort of dad who actually parked the car, and came in to the terminal to scan the reception area in quest of one of his offspring to appear. This, in the days before cell phones, when arrangements were made before you boarded the flight. And if your arrival was somehow delayed, dad would still be waiting at the curb, maybe eating a Hershey's semisweet chocolate bar, crumpling the wrapper in his coat pocket while listening to classical music on the radio. Oh, he was happy to see me, but it was my mother, who would spring from her chair when I strolled in the door. My father would say "Go along, I'll bring in your bags. Your mother is waiting to see you." And so I would bring all my youth, my highs and lows and my stories to share crossing the threshold of the same door that I walked through all the years of my life. So yesterday, when Nora arrived with a huge grin as she dropped her bags (well, some things have changed) and I enveloped her in a hug and felt the relief of her safe arrival, I thought a lot about my mother. And all the comings and goings she witnessed in the course of raising her five children. This one is for you mom. Somethings bring us closer than you'll ever know.