Flooded, and Trying to Swim

IMG953082567-01.jpegHomesick. This past week I’ve been so painfully homesick, not only for a place but for the people and community that make me feel home. So much has changed in the past few years, most of the time I think I’m pretty used to just being outside of my comfort zone. But then there are days when I’m so tired from that I guess, that I realize how long its been since I’ve truly been in my comfort zone at all. I don’t know why this past week has felt this way. Sometimes I guess there just aren’t any real reasons at all. I’m blaming it on hormones though, I suppose, as it just so happens it is coinciding with good ole Aunt Flow visiting.

Almost every night this past week, my mind is flooded with memories of places I am now far away from, and the memories and feeling of those places. So much so, that I have dreaded going to bed a bit at night… needing a podcast or the TV on just to try and avoid my thoughts...

Memories of the beaches back in Texas, where I grew up. The smell of the salty air, and the run-down roughness of the small beach towns. The sand always on your feet, and a strong coastal wind always in the air. The casual, kaleidoscope of the Hill Country… Austin and San Antonio and all the best kept secrets that lie in between the two. This was the place Drew first introduced me to. The area he was from. It was the place I fell in love with from the first time he brought me down for a visit. It felt like coming home, only it was a place I’d never been. In the years after his death, that feeling solidified deeply for me, since that was where I moved to heal.

Hell, I even miss the pretentious, brassy energy of Dallas, because despite itself, it is where I spent most of my twenties and met most of my closest friends. It is the first place I found my “crew” of friends… the ones I’d go out with every Tuesday night to our favorite bar. There were favorite little coffee shops and favorite hobbies I enjoyed - some with Drew, others with my best girlfriend. Now, only two of my closest friends still live there. The rest of us, well… one lives in LA, one in Florida, and them me, in Ohio. And the other one is dead. So much has changed.

Everything after death feels so complicated. Feelings and emotions are more complicated. Life is more complicated. Love and loss and making new friends and moving and leaving places or people behind is more complicated. I don’t know why this week in particular got to me, but like I said, sometimes I guess there just aren’t any specific reasons other than there still being grief and longing and heartache floating around inside of us, and sometimes it just overflows out.

I ended up having a chat with my sister tonight… which helped more than I thought it would. She and I are close, but not in a particularly emotional way. There’s never any crying or or deep feelings being shared, but we have our own language of closeness. It’s more of a totally freeing and extremely sarcastic bitch-fest. The kind that makes you feel a little less alone in the world with your own inner-freakouts and thoughts.

Today, I even managed to cry a little on the phone to her, which is seriously unlike our dynamic. I told her about missing home, and about missing our mom and dad. And how shitty it was that she happened to send me a bunch of old family photos via text today - sending me into yet another tailspin of longing and grief so I had to sneak away to my closest to cry. Yes, my closet it my cry space, at least when ten year olds are in the house. Joking aside, I did love the photos, but that is our humor, and I love that I can sarcastically thank her for making me have a melt down, and she gets it.

I guess it made me feel a little less homesick, just to hear her voice. Her voice, which has been in my life since the very day I was born. Her voice, which has been in my life, sadly, so much longer than our mom’s. Her voice, ever practical and no-fluff - perfectly countering my overly emotional, sappy self. Her voice, which grounds me in ways no one else’s can… probably because it is as close to our mom’s voice as I’ll ever have. One of the pictures she sent me today was the one in this post, of us swimming. I’m the little one. Funny enough, she was the one who taught me how to swim when I was little… and even now, so many years later, she’s still helping me keep afloat when the world, and grief, floods in.

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  • Marty Tousley, RN, MS, FT
    commented 2017-07-02 09:18:07 -0700
    That last paragraph captures so perfectly the close relationship you have with your sister, Sarah. I have one of my own just like that. Thank you for describing it so well. Just beautiful! ♥