A gift of a year

(Written at the end of August)

Summer slipped away in a blur of not much.  And as Theo and Molly leave each morning for school it feels like the door of our extended time together, opened still a crack through the summer, finally closed.  And I am saddened by it.

As we planned our trip we made a conscious decision to arrive home in the early summer, giving ourselves time to re-assimilate, and it is with a heavy heart that I realize that time has come to an end.  It also brings to question, what exactly does it mean to re-assimilate?

My children laugh as I repeat my elevator speech, as people continue to ask about the trip:

It was absolutely awesome.  Not perfect, not utopia, but awesome.  On a scale of one to ten, it was an eleven.  The sheer magnitude of what we saw and experienced; the people, the history, the architecture, the art, the culture, the ways of living, the natural beauty, the schools, the housing, the ancient sites and emerging modern world, the hamlets, villages, towns, cities and metropolises, the churches, mosques, temples and other places of worship, both the sadness and the joy, the majesty and the destruction, the natural and man made beauty, the celebration and destruction of the environment, the cities underground and soaring to the sky… the list goes on and on.  These are the things that made the trip a 10.  However, what made the trip an 11, was the concentrated time spent together.  That was the real gift of the trip.

And it is that gift that I miss most.

Our concentrated time to together really ended as we stepped off the plane in Denver on May 27 and began integrating back into our lives in Denver.  The pull in many different directions began instantly, as did the luxury of a house that has space enough so that we don’t all always have to be in the same room.

Dan returned to work within days of our arrival and June was a blur, made more so when Bob, my mom’s partner of 20 years and grandfather to Molly and Theo, entered the last painful weeks of hospice before succumbing to the cancer that was diagnosed 3 months into our trip.  Bob’s death further immersed us with a sense of struggling through goodbyes and hellos.

As the summer wore on, we delighted in being in one place, seeing familiar faces and reconnecting with friends and family.  However, we also dealt with the sadness of saying goodbye to a loved one and to a year of being together.

As the door that was held open a tiny crack closes, I can’t help but evaluate what we’ve been able to keep in our daily lives from our adventure and what new perspectives we bring to our lives.  But I’ll save that for another blog because for today, I’m just sad to see the extended time together really and truly end.

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