It’s past my bedtime.

With a heavy heart she went to sleep, but not before the compulsion to put the words into the world hit her.

It was only twelve hours ago that she thought about the fact that twelve hours from now she wouldn’t be home anymore.

It doesn’t really lessen the dull centered ache that spreads with each rusted, russet pulse. Picturing oneself somewhere in a better frame of mind may help with nerves but it doesn’t with sadness. It lingers and it throbs and convulses and kicks.

Nothing serious, though. Nothing compared to the realization that one day everything beautiful here and now won’t be. Nothing compared to the recent revelation that once upon a time, her great grandmother was a child. Once upon a time, that child left her family for a new and foreign world and a completely different life. Once upon a time, that child’s family loved her and wanted her back. And years, years later, that child– now a woman– refused to speak of it.

So much life. It’s all around and it’s indeterminable and it’s complex. Everyone begins, grows, learns, understands (or refuses to) and lets go.

Today I understood that my family as I know it is fluid and fragile at once. It’s strong and vibrant but could shatter into nothingness at any second. I’m here– not with them– when at any given moment the unthinkable could happen and all that I know would be lost and there would be no way for me to know, or to help… and everything that I love about life as it is now, with the people I love now, would be forever irrevocably altered.

Once upon a time, my grandparents were young. Once they dreamed of adulthood and valued their childhood and reached for more and were content with less.

Now it’s me. In twenty years will I have come to terms with the endlessly cycling change that powers this place?

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