In an interesting juxtaposition of timing and availability, the most available date on everyone’s calendars was…wait for it…April 1st. Indeed. April Fools’ Day. How funny is that??? It would be six l o n g weeks before we would manage to meet up with each other, face-to-face. So David arranged the day off from work, we made reservations at the closest hotel, and off we went to Buffalo, New York.
And how funny was that??? In years past, when I still had children at home, I had driven several time through Buffalo, New York, for quick family weekends in Toronto (and, once, for a longer family vacation through Ontario and Quebec), meeting Rick-the-pilot on his longer layovers. It was ironic that I had driven right past my family and didn’t know they were there.
It was only the beginning of the ironies we would come to discover.
So. Driving to Buffalo. A relatively short drive, for folk who are used to this sort of thing. Only six hours. But I was kinda nervous. Anxious to get there. Wondering what would happen…
And then we were there.
David and I pulled up to the house.
We got out of the car.
And there, on the sidewalk, in front of my Brother’s house, we truly met for the first time: me, my Brother Mike, and my Sister Cathy. Lots of hugs, lots of tears, lots of speechlessness and feelings of “can’t believe this is happening”.
I was in overwhelm.
David took this picture at that first meeting. I’m the runt in the middle.
We had decided, previously, to be “just us” at this first, very emotional, meeting. Sharon, Mike’s Wife, who has a wondrous gift for hospitality, was there, of course. Later in the evening, I would meet my nephews and nieces: Chris, Jay, Mike, Sarah, and Meara. It was a lot to take in, although I had been carrying around the family tree in my head for nine months now. I had names and dates and places.
Now I had people. My people. Family.
It was amazing. Unbelievable. Almost, too much.
We only had the weekend, so I had this urge to cram as much in as possible (which I will write more about…). But then, I stopped myself; time is fleeting. I just wanted to rest in this. To absorb this.
So I tried.
One of the funnier things was the “Welcome Baby Girl” balloon they had gotten for my “arrival”! Hilarious!!!
Because, indeed, 60 years later, we were welcoming me…welcoming us…
It’s never too late.