Moving away from the West Coast was a prosperous leap for our little foursome, but it also meant leaving a majority of Handsome’s family behind. Spread throughout California and Arizona, they rarely have reason to venture eastward and Handsome’s intense work schedule isn’t very accommodating to us vacationing back west either.
The great thing about family is that your hearts are knit together no matter the distance. I married into the most wonderful group of humans and there is no real distinction between “his” family and “my” family – they are so easy to claim as my own! But the truth is, these past couple years have been an unfathomable test of the heart for these brave and beautiful people.
Three years ago, after being blindsided by several health concerns, Handsome’s dad suddenly passed away. Last September we also lost his aunt (his Dad’s only sibling). All too young and all too soon our family was left with a generational void too great to bear.
My father-in-law with Songbird (2011) and our Aunt with Bug (2012).
This vintage photo of them is all kinds of 80’s awesomeness… one of my faves.
Partly a celebration of Gram’s 80th birthday, partly a show-and-tell about the life we’ve built on the east coast, and partly a time to reflect with tears and laughter on all that’s happened; this month we had the great fortune of having Handsome’s grandparents and his cousin visit us here in Virginia for a long weekend.
It was precisely the good medicine we all needed. We cooked up favorite family recipes, cooled off in the pool, enjoyed ice cream at the oceanfront, snuggled up for movie nights, perfected the funny face selfie and even tried our hand at colonial living.
We fit in as much fun, hugs and good food as the weekend would allow.
The void is still there, of course. But filling our hearts with a new chapter of happy memories is a welcomed treasure. In the end, the stories, photos and time together are all we have to continue the legacy of love left to us by those we cherish the most.