Home. After nine months on the road, we’ve come home. At this point, the story of this round of travels ends. But before we get to the last paragraph, here’s a few words about the heart- wrenching experiences that unfolded as we crossed western Canada to arrive here in Winnipeg. As the man says, home did look and feel the same, but we arrived feeling different. Read on.
I mean, how can visiting and then leaving your kids be anything but an emotional roller-coaster? Nine months ago, upon leaving on this trip, we decided that we wouldn’t have problems like this because we would visit all the kids often during our travels. Stay long enough. Go again soon. Have quality times. Not outstay our welcome. No problem.
With this somewhat misguided philosophy in mind, we began the final eastern leg of our trip and planned to include long visits at each of our children’s homes on the way to and in Winnipeg . Accordingly, the three grandchildren and a daughter on Vancouver Island got a visit with us for two weeks during which we had some lovely times. We saw the Easter bunny, did some babysitting and bonding with teenagers, did crafts on the lawn and just generally enjoyed. We built walls and painted and did spring cleaning and had family dinners. We played and hung around and privately moaned about the loss of peace. And then suddenly, it was time to say goodbye. To the sound of “Oh, are you going already?” and “Will you be back for Christmas?” we drove away. Ouch, the first heart-wrench. Our minds reverberated with the sights and sounds of that household for many miles after those goodbyes and we missed them as soon as the first rest stop.
Onto Calgary. A visit with a niece, her awesome husband and our new grandnephew began the festivities. It was so good to see their contentment but so sad that the time was so short. Included in this stop was a week with another daughter and her son where we lived in three-year old land day and night. Hide and seek, pretending school, playing doctor, soccer, sandcastles, tricycle riding and story-time. Eat your dinner, say please and thank you, naptime, more hide and seek and bedtime. Let’s go to the park, the pet store, the backyard and the playroom. But, before we knew it, the wrench. Experience didn’t make it any less painful, especially when the texts came after we left: He is downstairs looking for you. He’s crying because you’re gone. Omigod.
And then it was onto Edmonton to see a son and his wife and three more boys. That household required ear plugs and patience and boundless love that needed to be spread out by the bucketful. Those three made you want to run away from their noise and run right up and hug them all at the same time. They were joyful and rowdy and so lovable it was indescribable. Being with their parents was such a highlight too and the warm family feeling was overwhelming. But after a week of intense family togetherness, it was again time to go. This wrench took a hundred miles to pass. It’s still a tearful topic.
And finally, after a million miles of prairie, we have rolled into Winnipeg and are busy getting together with yet another son, his family and other close family. Mother’s Day, barbeque, visits at their house, lunches during rushed workdays and hopefully, times at the lake over the summer will round out this visit. Other times with family and dear friends are also going to be abundant and incredible, but we already know it will not be enough. All too soon, it will be September and we’ll be hitting the road again to start our newest adventure. The next wrench will come then and regrets will be crashing down on our heads along with the excitement of a new trip. Will this never end? And after each time, will we change yet again?
And so, this tale is told. The adventure was amazing, the family and friend visits fulfilling, wonderful and emotional. The walk on the edge is over for now, but a new one will begin in the fall. Thank you so much for reading and living our experiences with us. Goodbye and see you soon.
Glenda and Jim.