Monday, August 13, 2012

Long Road Home

(Daughter in her great grandma's wedding dress - 1937)

We have just returned from a 2,900 mile road trip.  It was a roller-coaster of emotion.  The main goal was to visit my three surviving grandparents and then take in whatever sights we could fit in.  The trip went perfect, I couldn't have asked for a better experience.  It was just hard to see my grandparents and not know whether or not I will see them again.  My g-ma and g-pa H live in South Dakota.  He is about nine hours away and she (due to Alzheimer's) lives about 12 hours away.  My g-ma T lives in Wyoming.  It is approximately 14 hours away.  All of them are in frail health.  It was particularly poignant due to the recent passing of Husbands grandma.  It is so frustrating that they live so far away and that I can't be more part of their lives.  I hate how fast time is going.  I love my grandparents and wish I could have spent more time with them. I wish they could have known their great grandchildren better.

We also got a chance to catch up with my numerous aunts, uncles, both sets of parents, sister, cousins, nieces, nephews, step-brothers and step-sisters! It was a little crazy how much family time we packed into eight days.  And it was wonderful.  I felt sad every time we left a house.  I miss them all - a lot.

The trip also had some fun non-enormous-family side moments.  We visited the Badlands, Wall Drug, Mt. Rushmore and Devil's Tower.  We saw tons of cattle, buffalo, bikers headed to Sturgis, and lots of empty space.  It is truly amazing how much land is out there.  I have to say, I feel happiest when I am surrounded by my family with wide-open views.  I don't think I could ever be a real city girl.  My heart will always be on the plains.

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