Sometimes people e-mail me and ask about living so far from home. I tell them that for the most part, it’s not too difficult. I talk to my family on the phone. We e-mail. We instant message. Often family gossip reaches me over here before it reaches my sister in Indiana. I tell myself that I have about the same level of contact with them as I did in college. I make-believe that the distance doesn’t matter. But every now and then, things happen that emphasize just how far away I am.
My great-grampa died last night. I’ve been a terrible granddaughter. I didn’t visit him at the nursing home when I was last there. He never got to meet Rodd. And now all I can remember is going to his house when I was little, and sitting on his knee and eating circus peanuts and listening to his stories. And this weekend my whole family will meet to lay him to rest… and I won’t be there. I won’t get to comfort them, and they won’t be here to comfort me. It’s a lonely feeling.
Papaw and I were never that close… but I never realized how far apart we were either.