Print Story 10:18
Diary
By iGrrrl (Tue Oct 15, 2019 at 10:32:17 AM EST) (all tags)
Planning a road trip.


My brother texted me out of the blue. We like each other a lot, but I'm a horrible correspondent. I also have this weird thing in my head about deciding I don't belong somewhere. And in this case it's pretty stupid, because if I don't belong at least somewhat in my brother's life, where do I belong?

We have some family friends in NC. We used to drive up from FL to visit them every years, and I don't remember not knowing them and their kids. I loved their house, their tiny fishing village town, biking at random, swimming off the Duke University Marine Lab's docks. Some of my happiest childhood memories come from there.

My brother's family is very close with them, and they're really second grandparents. I regret not doing that, too. (But the few times we did go there, I got grief from my M-i-L about not going to AL.) Anyway, their names are Bob and Carolyn, and Bob is dying, slowly, of leukemia. He's in his 80s, and has had a hell of a run.

My brother now directs a large department of SIDA, the Swedish version of USAID. So he's in the states for meetings at the UN and in DC. I'm going to take a train to meet him in DC, Metro out to DCA to pick up a rental car, drive to NC, spend a day with Bob and Carolyn, drive back to DC, this time to IAD, and fly home.

The car rides will be the longest I've spent with my brother alone probably since the last time he and I road tripped to NC from Orlando. We were in or just out of college. I was kind of crazy.

These milestones, markers, weird stuff that puts you back in a moment (we've all reached that age, haven't we?), they're both good and bad to me. I didn't really hit my emotional adolescence until I was in my 20s. I grew up very slowly, thanks in part to my home life as a kid. I don't know how much Bob and Carolyn know about it. Bob really idolized my dad in many ways, the intellect that was undeniable, even as his emotional expression was damaging to all around him. Bob makes me remember the good things about my dad, and maybe that's better. But it isn't really a part of my life I like to dwell on.

So I'll be spending hours with my brother in a car, seeing people I regret not seeing more when they were younger and heartier, heart aching for what could have been and what will end soon.

10:31

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10:18 | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden)
It's strange by clock (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Oct 15, 2019 at 10:41:05 AM EST
I'm trying to remember my last road trip with my brother and it must have been driving from Minneapolis to Cedar Rapids in 1999. That's 20 years ago now. How fucked up is that? The math, that is.

I hope you have a good time with it. Visiting old friends who are in the twilight is good for everyone most of the time.


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

Time, man. It just keeps passing on by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Oct 15, 2019 at 03:45:58 PM EST
It's a total fluke that I have the availability to do this. Next week I couldn't.

And yes, I think this will be good. My younger son writes Bob letters, and that makes me very happy.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
I think... by ana (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Oct 15, 2019 at 11:47:27 AM EST
I think I might have met Bob and Carolyn. I remember a long conversation with a woman you folks' age who had a delightful NC accent. No idea whether it was in Orlando or Cape Cod, or even what decade it was in.

And say hello to A for me. Last time I saw him he was opening for your band in a bar in Waltham.

Sympathies for your loss-to-be; these things are hard, and there's nothing to be said, really, except that I see you, doing the hard thing.

Or get rabies. Also don't do that. --scrymarch

you probably did by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Oct 15, 2019 at 03:43:50 PM EST
Carolyn was also an organist and had been one of my dad's music students at (I think) NC State. She and my mom were really close.

I'd forgotten that Alan opened for us. Huh.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
I follow your brother on the twitters by hulver (4.00 / 3) #5 Tue Oct 15, 2019 at 04:01:41 PM EST
Age huh. I'm becoming increasingly aware of my own mortality. I will ponder scribbling something about it at some point in the future. However, most people have dealt with something like this already, so it's sort of pointing out the obvious.
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
Hmmm by Gedvondur (4.00 / 2) #6 Tue Oct 15, 2019 at 05:49:48 PM EST
Well, just because everyone has gone through it, doesn't mean you shouldn't write it down. It helps. I'm struggling with it myself.


[ Parent ]
I'd be happy to read by clock (4.00 / 2) #7 Wed Oct 16, 2019 at 07:43:27 AM EST
ANYTHING that you have to scribble, my friend. It's good for all of us.


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Next time you're passing through DC by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Oct 16, 2019 at 09:28:16 AM EST
We should have a DC HuSiMeet.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Reminds me by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Oct 16, 2019 at 03:36:09 PM EST
I am in DC next week.

[ Parent ]
me too! by dev trash (4.00 / 1) #10 Fri Oct 18, 2019 at 12:31:40 AM EST
Well I live in the area, but 2 days next week I'll be in the city proper.

--
I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR BALLS! ->clock
[ Parent ]
gosh by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #12 Fri Oct 18, 2019 at 05:11:47 AM EST
Is that a quorum?

[ Parent ]
I concur by dev trash (4.00 / 1) #11 Fri Oct 18, 2019 at 12:32:18 AM EST


--
I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR BALLS! ->clock
[ Parent ]
Will do! by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #13 Wed Oct 23, 2019 at 10:52:39 PM EST
I've had a few reasons to be in the area, but not always DC proper. This trip I literally got off the Amtrak and on the Metro to DCA in the space of 15 minutes.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
10:18 | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden)