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A Month of Summer in Virginia

August 4, 2012

I decided it was time to go home for an extended stay with my son, Gabe.  I wanted to show him Summer in VA and most importantly, have him spend some time with his family in the Southeast.  Gabe and I don’t get to see these wonderful people as much as we’d like and I had begun to really miss them.  I was nervous to be away from my husband for an entire month, but I knew that this experience would be good for all of us.

On this visit I felt Richmond’s hardest pull on me yet since moving away 16 years ago.  This strong and constant tugging on my heart, my mind and soul, right to the very core of who I am now was not entirely pleasant.  On some very basic level I realize that I have avoided coming home for visits in the summertime because of all of the amazing memories I have of summers growing up in Richmond.  They have become painful to remember simply because memories are all they are now.  My youth is over and now I relive it through the eyes of my sisters, brother and son.  I’ve never felt such an aching to live back in Richmond as I did this July.  My son  and I caught fireflies together and listened to the deafening rhythmic crescendos and decrescendos of the cicadas.  Gabe loved the warmth of the humidity and the chill of the ocean and the huge rolling thunderstorms.  And there was the sun.  So much sun.  For a 5 year old kid born in the Pacific Northwest it was just good to be so warm.  We ate blue crabs fresh from the Chesapeake Bay caught by my Uncle Tommy and watched dolphins play at the beach while catching sand fleas and chasing the ghost crabs across the sand.  Gabe learned to swim in VA, a memory he’ll never forget.

My mother broke her shoulder a week before Gabe and I arrived.  She underwent surgery and was out of commission for our entire visit.  This was, of course, a huge disappointment for her as well as for us, but Gabe and I got to spend such an abundance of time together visiting my old friends, some I hadn’t seen in 20+ years, others I hadn’t seen in many years,  that we grew closer,  he was my traveling companion, my co-pilot.  He asked me if we could move to Richmond because he said “it’s beautiful here” and I answered that it was indeed beautiful, very beautiful.  Although I didn’t get as much help as I had originally believed I’d have, I ended up staying busy and not missing a thing.  My father, who lives in VA  Beach had hip replacement surgery before we left, so he was really limping around ready to get on with his surgery.  I ended up getting plenty of help when I needed it.  Thank you to my family who spent time with Gabe, and loved his company.  I am blessed to have so many people who love me and Gabe and Jake.  Thank you to Christina and Paige and Tiffaney.  Thank you to Garth and Aimee.  Thank you to Susan and Lisa.  I can’t believe how lucky I am to have such beautiful people in my life.

I felt warm, tan, loved and really happy.  I found a lot of peace and was able to put some past ghosts to rest.  I will always love RVA and how it’s changed but how it will fundamentally always stay the same.  I felt a new connectedness with the Fan and all of my old stomping grounds and with some of those whom I stomped them with.

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