“You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things.”
― Jamie Tworkowski
My dear cousin introduced me to this quote during one of our stops on our journey. And I love it.
I absolutely love it.
Because this portion of our trip has been all about the people.
We saw friends and family, friends who are family, and family who are friends. We saw a bunch of people, and not enough people. We talked and laughed, listened and cried.
We asked the tough questions and heard the tough answers, told happy stories and sad stories. We listened and learned, knew and were known.
One of my favorite times was when we went to visit my grandmother. She lives in an assisted-living facility and, to be honest, I was a bit nervous about what it would be like. What I saw made me so happy. When we first got there we ran into a large group of people who were also on their way to visit her, and she welcomed us all with a huge smile.
She took us all around, introduced us to her friends, and proudly showed us the garden she helped plant.
She wanted to take us to lunch at the little Bistro, but after nearly nine decades her feet just aren’t as nimble as they used to be. The solution was for her to cruise along in her wheelchair, greeting everyone as she rolled along.
She knew them and they knew her. I teased her about being so popular and she just giggled.
During our meal, her twin sister came to chat for a while and a few other friends stopped by to say hello.
My favorite part of the visit happened at the end of the meal. The server came to see if we wanted dessert, and she looked at my grandma and said, “I know what you want. A scoop of vanilla with a little bit of caramel.”
My grandma just smiled, and later said it was the perfect little treat.
There are several residents in the facility, covering the full spectrum of physical and cognitive abilities. From independent living to advanced Alzheimer’s care, the residents are treated with dignity and respect, to the point of knowing their favorite dessert.
It was tough to say goodbye, as it always is, but I also felt so relieved knowing she is happy. She was about to go and listen to her favorite accordion player, and she was looking forward to doing some art in the coming week.
And I know that when she wants something sweet, she will get her scoop of vanilla with a little bit of caramel.
For this next part of our journey, we are home. Not home home, because that won’t come until the end of July, but Northern California home.
This is where we met, fell in love, and got engaged. It is where we had our first career jobs, learned how to live as husband and wife, and where all four of the kidlets were born. The sights, sounds, and smells are comfortingly familiar, and there are memories around every corner.
As much as we like to wander and explore and seek adventure, sometimes it’s nice to just come home for a bit.
So here we are.
See you soon.