Indianapolis Skyline from the War Memorial Mall, on Indy 500 Parade Day.
It’s been just over a year since we moved, immigrated, back to the USA from Ireland.
Evelyn is going on 5 years old. She’s started forgetting things, like how her Nana’s house looked, or what her little cousins’ names are, or who our doting neighbours there were. She remembers a lot of funny little things, but not always the details and persons we so wish she’d recall. Shea, on the other hand, was just 6 months old when we moved, now 19 months. He remembers nothing from our former life, and only knows his Irish family from waving and blowing kisses to them over Skype.
Moving so far away from the people and places you love has to be done for a lot of really solid reasons. And, once you’re gone, and homesick, and looking back and questioning why, somewhere along the lines you better feel, in your heart, that it was worth it. The sacrifices led to something better.
Springtime, tree in bloom.
My earliest personal memories come from the summer I was 3 years old. I remember that summer in very vivid bits and pieces because it was my family’s first big road trip, from Bozeman to Seattle. My parents packed up our little black Buick Skylark, buckled my sisters and me into the back seat and headed off, nearly 700 miles West. I remember being afraid of everything on that trip – The Space Needle, the ferries, the shower in our motel! I remember playing with my cousin, Paul, and I remember my Uncle Mac dropping an ear of buttered corn on the cob onto the floor and all of us laughing. I remember my mother getting a bee stuck up her pants. I remember posing for a lot of boring pictures. I remember the Sees candy shop with its little playhouse. I remember my dad prying starfish off the rocks in a tidal pool and leaving them in the trunk of our car until the smell became unbearable. I remember rain forests, and my hooded rain coat and miniature villages on display in Victoria, BC. And, perhaps the strongest sensory memory of all is simply the one of sitting in that back seat, in traffic, the rain drops racing each other down the widows, and listening to a Simon & Garfunkel tape over and over again. “I’m sittin’ in the railway station, got a ticket for my destination, Mmmmhmm…”
I could be anywhere in the world and hear the first few bars of that song and be instantly transported back to Seattle, and my 3 year-old self.
I don’t know if it’s irony, or destiny, but by this time next weekend, our little family will be homeward bound to Seattle. Yes – you read it right – after just a year, we’re packing up our things, selling what we can, saying goodbye to friends, and moving again. And adding another 2300 miles to the distance already between us and Ireland. Continue reading