We leave for home on Friday. So far, this vacation has been pretty amazing. But also strong emotions, raw spots raised on my heart, along with the simple joys of true relaxation and warmth.
First, the sweet:
There have been parties, hugs from old friends, great sleep, the best cupcakes i’ve ever had in my life, swimming, dressing up and feeling pretty, sharing jokes and silliness with my best friend, meeting her mom and finding an angel. There has been finding the only set of sunflowers, like they were just there waiting for me to buy. i always bring sunflowers to my grandmother’s grave. i brought a box of chocolates for the office staff there. It’s my little traditions. I also bought a beautiful plant of bright yellow flowers to bring for my grandmother. Karida’s mother hugs me, tells me i’m beautiful, and it’s hard to not cry seeing them together. There have been sensational milkshakes, made to order waffles in the hotel, the best bed ever, primal energy galore, and being within five feet of Ms. Constance several times. There have been classes, new ideas, fantasies, latex, a lovely train ride, meeting Karida’s life size teddy bear Mr. Roosevelt, little time, forts, books, coloring, meditation, mani/pedis, popcorn, icee, and the Huntsman. Tomorrow, we are going to Downtown Disney, which they had the nerve to rename Disney Springs. It’s a shopping complex, movie theatre, night life, eateries, and more. It’s also free to go to and i’m on the hunt for a pink pooh or a duffy bear.
And the Bitter:
i miss Sir Raven a ton. Being away from her always reminds me that i don’t fit in anywhere in life and that i’m lucky she keeps me. i’m lucky her family that is around us have passed over and that might make them more inclined to have finally accepted me, because they alone see how i care for her without fail. And so they forgive all of my flaws because of my heart and work. Nowhere else do i find that in life. Every time i think i do, i’m reminded crudely that No. i don’t belong-not really-not ever. i’m not wanted-not really-not ever.
Someone i love is in the hospital, and i can’t visit because it could cause problems for his family-one that i was a part of for two years.
Another family, one that i was also devoted to, ignored me for three days. i got a few hugs, but otherwise i was just like any of the other 500 people. And it hurt. A lot. It was strange, like people were happy to see me, and then nothing. Like i wasn’t there, don’t belong there, like my place was erased entirely.
Two people who had told me that should Sir Raven ever pass, that i’d have a home and place with them, have clearly changed their mind. Inevitably, i believe this is my fault, that when i’m not silent, passive, apologetic, i end up realizing that i am misjudged. See, i do base most of my reactions on the intent of people. When i’m hurt or angry, i think about if i believe they intended this. Mostly, if the answer is no, i let it go. i’d truly appreciate being judged the same way in life. But i’m not. And that hurts.
Karida’s mother lives within 15 minutes of my grandmother’s house, and it’s strange and horrible that i can’t go there. My mother could be there. More likely, her weird boyfriend that rented the place is still there and he’s met me. But it feels so strange to be on familiar roads, places i went with my family, and getting hit full in the face that everything is gone.
What i have is my grandmother’s grave, so it meant the world to me to go, ask for blessings for my boys, my brother, my mother, and the baby i lost. i played her two favorite pieces of music, “Time to Say Goodbye,” and “Ave Maria.” My mother could never be bothered to do the forms and sign off to get her marker, so I did all of that, with the help of the Bigs. i was delighted to see it, that i had done okay, that we did it. This is the first time i’ve gone without them and it was harder for their absence in my life. This time, i did not cry. i took pictures in the rain, brought two boxes of chocolates for the staff, looked at the place next to her, where i was supposed to be buried one day. Also gone.
We drove by my aunts house, but i had it wrong in my head, and we ended up stopping in front of a cousins house. i never knew her, she had died of a brain hemmorage before i was old enough to know her. Later, i was able to pull forward the house. i had been thinking that maybe new owners had covered over the brick but i looked it up online and its still lovely. That house was always and forever promised to me but got sold. My aunt decided i was too poor and too disabled to be able to take care of a house. She wanted to feel safe in a gated condo, which made sense. Just another thing gone.
It is a lot of loss. But also there is a lot of gratitude that i have a family to return to in New York. i can’t wait to make french press for her ancestors, bring them flowers again, and wrap my arms around Sir Raven.