Our family will soon arrive from Minnesota. It has been nine years since my husband's older brother visited the left coast. Oh, we've been back to see them a number of times. We went to graduations. Attended the three weddings of my nieces. Celebrated the subsequent births of four nieces and nephews. All wonderful, happy events.
What caused my brother-in-law's lapse in return trips? I think it was the death of his mother. He hasn't been here since her funeral in the spring of 2000. It is easier to deny endings when you are not present.
What pushed the button for return to the homeland after 10 years? Perhaps the need to face the reality of death, the demise of the physical body. An older brother diagnosed and, successfully, treated for prostate cancer. A younger brother struck with a heart attack at 57. Both illnesses occurring within a couple of months of each other. A time for healing family scars.
I often admire animals. They have a brain. We have minds. There is a difference. We know what it means to our mortality when we are told that we have a fatal disease. All they know is the smell of a scent on the wind. Water to drink. Food to eat. They are in the moment with total unconcern for what is coming, good or bad. All in all, not such a bad existence, I think.
I'm looking forward to being in the moment with my family.