Today is a day for grieving. We are in the process, as a family, of saying goodbye to my grandma. Mercy is struggling to understand why mommy keeps crying. She keeps asking me if I want daddy, and if I need a cuddle. She has come over to me on two occasions and kissed my arms or my cheek.
There are many costs that are counted for us to live here. I write about them often enough here. But today the cost I recognize is the distance from our families: from parents and grandmas and aunts and cousins. The cost of being family at a distance. It is something I struggle with a fair amount, and having kids has only amplified it. A kind Jewish grandma interrupted our picnic at Manhattan Beach last night to pat the kids’ heads. Her first question to us: do you have family near?
I am grateful for my sister and her husband and kids who live so close and who share life with us here in deep and consistent ways. I am grateful for the ways that our families have made it a priority to visit often, even when the cost of travel and vacation days has been a hardship. And I am grateful for the people who have joined our life along the way and become those I also call family. But right now, that gratitude is overpowered by feelings of longing and sadness and loss. I just want to hold Grandma’s hand.