Right at this very moment, my new fiance Mike and daughter Shelby are visiting my late-fiance’s family in Texas. We have been here before. We spent Christmas with them in fact this past year. It still is so strange and surreal and beautiful to me how this all works. Mike and I stay in Drew’s old bedroom. Shelby sleeps in his sister’s old room. And we spend all this time hanging out with his family, in their house, with all of their memories. All of the memories of my old life. Somehow it just all works. It just all blends in this wonderful way – all based off love.
One of the most surreal experiences of this is having Mike’s daughter Shelby here… and how excited she is to come to Drew’s parents ranch to see all the animals. To see the cactus and scorpions and the beaches on Padre Island – my hometown. It’s so awesome getting to be the one to expose her to the state I grew up in and all the things I love.
It’s sometimes hard to know that I get so little time to share with her the things I grew up with in my life since we live so far away. Sometimes I wish so much I could share more of my own world with them, for longer. But when we do come down, and I do get to share with them this life that was my life, that was a life I shared with Drew, and a life I lived even long before I met him… it feels so good. It feels so beautiful and rewarding and loving and amazing. I don’t know any other way to say it besides, I feel so safe and secure in this world in a way I don’t when I’m not in Texas. I just feel grounded here.
I think one of the hard parts of this new life and having moved to Ohio to be with them maybe isn’t even how much I miss Texas. I think as I look back more, it’s not that at all. It’s actually more that I feel like there is this entire part of who I am that I never really get to share with them for more than a week or two once a year. This part of me that, as I am discovering, only resides back home. And for the rest of the year, it’s kind of like she is just packed into a box or left behind until the next time we visit and I find her and remember that grounded feeling.
Is that odd? Should I feel so separate from a part of myself? Does everyone feel that when they leave the place they feel home? Is there more of a way to bring it with me? I don’t really know. All big questions. But I figure it is normal to feel that when you leave somewhere that’s become so deeply a part of you. Just like it’s normal to feel that way when you lose someone who was so deeply a part of you. I suppose, to focus on the positive, at least I can visit these places. At least these places are always here for me to put my feet down on. I am not quite that lucky when it comes to the people who are a part of me… as Drew and many others are no longer anywhere I can visit. I guess it’s a good reminder to keep me grateful that this place is here always. I can still see it and touch it in a way I cannot see or touch him. But he is always with me too… and maybe someday I’ll be able to feel like this place is always with me a little more also.
I really long to share my world with them on such a deeper level than we are able to sometimes. Maybe it won’t always be that way, and for now, I’m grateful to be able to share it even once or twice a year with them.
that there is this entire world of things that are a part of who I am back in Texas. It’s this entire world of what made me who I am. Places and things that I have such a deep love for, and that are such a deep part of me. And in a way, I feel like I never get to fully share who I am because so much of it resides back in Texas.