06 May 2007

On Friday night, Lily and I stayed overnight at my parents' house. I was helping out with our LLL Group's garage sale until 8pm then I had another shift starting at 9am, so staying over made more sense than driving back and forth.

Being out here (yes, I'm back out at their house again today!) has brought up so many memories. Sleeping in my old room and sharing my old bed with Lily was so similar to when Nick and I lived here that it made me a little sad for how much he's grown up and our lives have changed. As I took a walk around the subdivision and pushed Lily in Nick's old stroller, I was brought back not only to five years ago when he was her size, but also way back to 17 years ago when my family and our old dog took our first walks in this area.

So much has changed and new people have entered our family, but retracing my footsteps brings those memories back with an almost painful clarity. Remembering my dog running in the ditch, I can't help but also remember her final moments as she rested her head on my feet. Thinking about playing outside with my brother, I suddenly feel the distance between us as he and his family live out their daily lives in another province. Watching videos of his daughter last night only made the gap seem larger.

The biggest moment of nostalgia, though, came for me when Lily and I joined my parents at mass on Saturday night. This is the church I've attended since it was built, in 1988 or so. My First Communion, Reconciliation, and Confirmation all took place within those walls. Nicholas was baptized on the altar, and Liam and I stood not too far from that spot when we made our vows to each other before family, friends, and God. During mass, I looked around the congregation and my heart was so filled with love as I saw the familiar faces of so many friends and acquaintances. While I may live in houses, that church is truly home to me.

I spent much of that hour holding back tears as I processed so many memories while feeling the loneliness of being separated from Liam. I felt so out of place without him by my side. In the past, I stood with my parents. In the present, I stand at Liam's side. In that moment, though, he was out at camp and now he's gone to San Francisco for the next 6 days.

Today, I'm back at my parents' house again for a community event and I've spent the past two hours in silence as I've been waiting for Lily to wake. I'm not quite sure how I'm feeling. I'm not happy, but I'm not unhappy. I think I'm just feeling awash in so many emotions and memories.

And now I hear Lily's voice telling me she's awake. Back to the hustle and bustle of reality.


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