4/2/2018

Dear Stuart,

The mini fridge in this Airbnb room is buzzing so loud and dogs are barking outside forever. But it's warm in here and the bed is comfy and I'm halfway between here and there, north and south, family and you, home and home. It seems only right to send one last letter through the cyberspace to tie up this 2018 Adventure. Oo, the buzzing just stopped.

Saturday night my family left for Aruba; we hugged and said our goodbyes and then did it a second time to be sure. Zach and Kim stuck around a little longer and by the time they left, I had to make myself a quick dinner and get ready for the Easter Vigil mass at 8:12pm, sunset. I dressed up.

When I arrived there was a bonfire crackling outside of the church and a large-ish gathering of people huddled between the church doors and the fire, all holding unlit candles. There were whispers, but it was mostly quiet until the priest commenced Mass. Once commenced, the Easter candle was lit by the bonfire, it's light was shared with a nearby parishioner, who shared it with his neighbor, who shared it with his neighbor and slowly, one by one, that candle shared it's light with all the people in the crowd. It was really sweet to experience the brightness slowly graduate as the flame raced around the group. A living chandelier, we shuffled into the dark church together to hear stories from the Bible, starting with the story of Creation. It was good.

The priest's homily was about the Dark Times of Lent. The darkness of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, the solemness of the sacrifice Jesus made for us and then... THEN... the glory of his resurrection! The joy! The light! The life! Rebirth! New beginnings! There is no death, only Life.

And what better time to celebrate new life and new beginnings than springtime, after the death of my grandfather, as I prepare to head south once again with a renewed spirit. It was so fulfilling, validating, hopeful to hear. It all felt so right, so perfect... like it was part of a plan...

The sun shined on Easter Sunday and I rollerbladed around a little bit before the 3pm dinner. It was good to see everyone, catch up with Julie, learn about Buffalo tradition and Polish customs, laugh, eat, drink, celebrate. This morning I woke up tired but as I prepared myself for my journey South-- cleaning the countertops and putting the last of the things in the boxes-- there was a definitive sense of finality, that I had done what I came here to do, not just with my Nonno but with my family and with myself, too. It was time to go forward with a trusting heart and enlightened view.

And so now I'm here, halfway to you, in the relay of family past and future but both present. You know what I mean?

As I drove off with that feeling of completion I still had a lingering sense that it wasn't enough. But you know what? It will never be enough, not here, not in this life. There will never be enough days to show my love for everyone in this world, never enough hours to practice gratitude or the piano, never enough time to see all the places or read all the books or make all the miniatures or hear all the stories or solve all the problems. No number of lifetimes strung together will ever be enough. And that idea used to rattle me into a deep dark hole, but now I find comfort in it. Relief.

And that, that is enough.

The dogs are still barking.

I love you so much Stuart. I'll see your face TOMORROW!

Love,

Emily :)