A Return Home

2/15/23 3:50 AM

It's been a wild few months.

I returned home last week for a funeral. My grandmother passed awawy. It is one of the worst reasons to see family again, but I deeply love my family. It was so good seeing everyone again. Some of them I haven't seen in 10 years. I was so worried that I became a stranger in the time I have been gone. That in the time I was gone the person I was became so divorced from their idea of me that I would not be able to connect to them, but no. When I went back it was like no time at all passed. It was very comforting being in that position again. I missed the large gatherings. I missed all the familiar faces. It was also nice seeing them fully embrace my wife for the first time. While they never treated her bad there was always this sense of her being almost a stranger with my extended family. A nice stranger but a stranger nonetheless. Since she was here for such an important thing as a funeral she really became family. It made my heart swell with joy.

With the great joy came heartebreak.

As we were cleaning up the reception hall from the big family lunch we learned that my last remaining grandparent was in the hospital and it was bad. We went to the hospital the next day and it was apparent that this was going to be the last time I will see her. The visit was nice. I saw more family and spoke to my grandmother, but it was apparent to everyone we were having our last real conversation. When it was time to go I hugged her and she gave me a kiss and I told her I loved her. I specifically called her Grandma. This is important. She isn't my biological grandmother. My biologic grandmother passed before I was born. As a byproduct of this my brother and I never called her Grandma. It was always her first name. She has insecurity of not being my late grandfather's first wife. She expressed fears of my grandfather going to heaven to be with his real wife. My mom has spent a lot of time the last few years reminding her that she was not just a placeholder. Mom would tell her that her dad was waiting for her. I don't know if I believe in heaven, but I know if it's real he is waiting for her too.

With that visit over I stepped out of the hospital. It was an eery feeling. She isn't gone, but unless a miracle happens I will never see a grandparent again. The feeling of a chapter closing behind my heels quiet to everyone else but deafening to me. I felt dispair but it also feels like I gazed into something so beautiful that week.

My wife and I went to a cute little alt clothing store called the Kei Collective in Phoenix. I found some prints from artists that I recognized. We were suddenly hit with the obvious knowledge that we were able to buy them and place them in our room. We did and we did. We have been trying to make our living space feel more like our home, but it feels like last week we finally broke the barrier really holding us back from going hog wild and making our place OUR place. No holding back. Silly tity figures and more erotic prints? Yeah we are allowed to do that. It's our house. Its weird, but no one can stop us (though we will definitely "sanitize" if we get visitors). We put up our things and it has brought so much joy and comfort to our living space. It's starting to feel like we are in OUR space. Not just some space we are borrowing. We only have to live up to our standard.

I'm feeling grown up. I know I've been an adult for a long time but always sort of felt the fear of having to live to a certain standard (much like a child living with parents). I also felt very childish often. That disconnect is closing. I'm going to be 30 this year and I'm feeling it. It comes with pain such as losing the grandparents I've always known. It comes with joy such as being completely free of the burdens that I felt. I don't hate it. I'm actually excited to see where this freedom takes me. I don't know what to expect, but I think I'm okay with that. I'm scared. I'm thrilled. I feel alive.

There are so many things and feelings this last trip home has stirred. I could be typing this out for days, but for now I think this is a good stopping point. I need time to process this. I might come back and spill my feelings out again. It feels nice doing so.

I need to watch more anime. I here good things about Bocchi and Chainsaw Man.

Good night!