I got back from Atlanta yesterday afternoon. The trip was hard, and I don’t think I can do it justice by trying to write about it, so I’ll just hit the highlights:
* After I got in on Friday night, my brother, sister & I stayed at Tracy’s friend Renee’s apartment. My sister’s birthday is on Sunday, so Renee got a little cake & we sang happy birthday to her. It didn’t seem appropriate to do that with the other family members around, given the circumstances of our visit, but it was cool to have a little mini-party with just us.
* I have concluded that even though all of my family is loud, and people who I’m not related to tell me that I’m loud on a pretty regular basis, my sister is, hands down, the loudest. And she really does laugh like Cruella DeVille. (Think head thrown back, loud “muwahahaha!” cackle.)
* On the way to lunch on Saturday, I tripped & fell on a curb. Before you ask, no, I was not drinking in the morning. I inherited this klutz gene from my mom, I come by it honestly and this type of thing is not at all uncommon. But I was wearing capri pants, so it was bare skin on sidewalk. It was one of those falls that feels like it’s happening in slow motion in your head – like “gee, this is really going to hurt when I land…” and then BAM! Ouch. I fell in such a way that my left leg was out to the side and my right leg folded up under me, so I ended up with a skinned right knee & shin, plus the inside of my left ankle and foot are skinned too. It still hurts. I grabbed my jeans out of my suitcase in the car and changed in the ladies’ room of the restaurant because I didn’t want people looking at my wounded legs for the rest of the day. Ugh.
* My aunt, the lesbian new age psychologist (p.s., she used to be a nun), had a couple of oversharing/too much information moments with me. One of them actually came from her new partner, who told us when giving us the grand tour of their house, gestured toward all the woods behind their backyard and said “See, there’s 27 acres of trees out there. It’s so secluded, one of our favorite things to do is run out the back door naked to get in the hot tub. No one can see us, it’s great!” Before any of you guys start thinking about how hot lesbians are or whatever, let me add that my aunt and her partner are both 60 years old. Re-write that mental image accordingly. Eww. Not so cool & sexy now, is it?
* On the flight home, I got upgraded to first class, and I swear I have no idea how that happened. They had assigned me to seat 15-G, and I had gotten all settled in, then the flight attendant comes down the aisle and says “Are you Cynthia?” to me. I confirmed, and she said, “Here’s your new seat assignment,” and handed me a boarding pass that says I’m supposed to be in seat 6-A. Right on. That was so cool. I had my own little private TV, I watched different, unedited movies (no “Garfield” for me, suckas! I’m watching Johnny Depp say the F-word in “Secret Window”!), and I played video games. Oh, and the seats turn into recliners so you can actually sleep comfortably. Sweet! That was the nicest flight I’ve ever been on.
As for seeing my cousin, it was good. She was really excited to see all of us, she was sitting up & acting like her normal self for at least 30 minutes, maybe closer to an hour. It felt like any normal family get-together where we just sit around and talk about whatever everyone is up to – except for the IV’s and the oxygen mask and all of that stuff, but that was all pretty easy to ignore. Saying good-bye to her was difficult, although by that point, she wasn’t feeling well anymore and wanted us all to leave. I didn’t do so well at holding myself together after we left the hospital. I can’t remember the last time I’ve cried that much. But I suppose it was good to get it out of my system, in spite of how puffy my eyes were the next day. Damn. Like I said earlier, it was rough.
However, one bright note is that I think that this experience has brought my cousins and I closer together. This was the first time we’ve all said “I love you” when we were saying good-bye to each other. Even my brother, sister & I don’t usually say that, but we did this weekend. I guess it’s usually just understood without being said, but this time seemed especially important to say it out loud. So I suppose that’s a positive outcome, even though it sucks that it took something this drastic for it to happen.