Comfort in the Catch-Up

Ahhhh, the peace and quiet of home. There really is nothing quite like it. Kids have been in bed for going on 4 hours now, Kevin headed there about three hours ago himself(I need to go to bed). I’m alone and its silent. I watched a missed pod-cast from church last Sunday, then caught up on the blogs I like to follow, and then the thoughts started pouring in. Snip-its of conversations from last week, a picture of a face and then a memory that may have accompanied it from years ago, so I’m going with it, down memory lane.

Last week was awesome! A whirlwind week, that culminated with the wedding of my little sister, Rebecca. The wedding was amazing, they usually are, but when its someone within your immediate family, they are that much more special, because you know at least HALF, if not more of everyone in attendance. People who have known me for my entire life, had a hand in raising me, cousins I’ve played with and known for as long as I can remember, sisters standing side by side.
Sometimes its hard to believe I haven’t lived there for going on 8 years now, but today, settling in back ‘home’, I feel those 8 years. Most of these people that I’ve ‘known’ my whole life, I don’t KNOW anymore. Seeing them again satisfies the itch to feel like I still belong, they’re still ‘mine’ and I’m their’s…. but a few 15-20 minute rotating conversations, with participants tuning in/out, coming and going around us, isn’t exactly the opportunity to figure out all the things I’ve missed. What’s going on in their lives? Who are their people, and how are they doing? The conversations that can take an hour usually at minimum, and are best nurtured one on one, with a cup of tea, coffee, or cocoa (and no kids!)
What is it with family that make those conversations the ones that seem the most impossible to have? Is it the fact that we have all the history, the people interwoven through our lives are the same, and the memories we hold and the feelings they invoked do not always seem to be shared? That different points of view surrounding the events of our lives, end up more often as points of contention rather than conversation? With so many relational overlaps, is it fear that what we say to each other might not end there, and the reality that confirms it all to often doesn’t? Or deep down, do we not really WANT to know or be known, because the last people we want to disappoint is our family….
There is a comfort in the catch-up. Yes, you still belong. Yes, you can still laugh at the hilarious memories you share, and affirm all the positives in your life, so that THOSE get passed around the family, and possibly touch on a more immediate struggle. There is the very real barrier of time/location to fall back on as an excuse for not going deeper, but is that all it is… an excuse? I wish I had the answers to all my questions… Wish I could be a pro at maintaining deep/meaningful long distance relationships. I always leave wondering if they know how much they mean to me, and usually feel a little guilty that they likely don’t because I keep it just as light and easy.
Since there never seems to be ‘the right time’ for such conversations when I’m home, I figured rather than keeping the thought to myself, at least if I put it out here, ya’ll would know. Whether it spurs a conversation in the future, or simply affirms the fact that I do care about you deeply and miss the chance at ‘knowing’ who you are now, I figured that’s something. Know that I’m TRYING to figure out the right way to do this without being awkward, and that if I ask you some weird questions, it might be my ‘attempt’… so try not to look at me like I’ve completely lost my mind :).
Love you guys… Despite any of our history, and our messy attempts at meddling, there is the undercurrent of love (there may have been a little loathing interspersed for good measure, but for the most part… love 🙂 See ya’ll at Christmas… maybe we’ll have to have a cocoa date!!!
P.S. Congrats again Rebecca and Trav! Praying for ya’ll to have an amazing marriage and life together, and so excited I will get to be a part of it for the long haul! Love you both!

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