Time with loved ones and R&R

I am very thankful for July. This whole month, it has been a month I will always remember. And once the years fade away and the memories become dimmer, there are slices of time that persist. This past month, I am sure, will be one of them. I got to spend two weeks at the beach with my family, and even when they annoy me and tire me out, they are my favorite people to be around. They have been the foundation that keeps me focused on why we do this day-to-day runaround. They give me peace.

Memories I will cherish:

- sitting in the late afternoon sun, listening to my mom tell stories about her relatives; cousins and aunts and grandparents that I have never heard about, or had just a few stories about. My mother is an amazing story-teller, and she knows about so many people way back in our family tree, from growing up with her grandmother. When she is in story mode, she is a link to the past and gives me a sense of where we came from, which is touching.

- taking the girls to see the USS Yorktown and the Angel Oak Tree in Charleston. I remember going to see things like this when I was a kid, and I didn’t understand why it was important to do all this sightseeing, but I see now how important it is to experience the sights and sounds and smells of what people have done for our country, whether it is fighting in the military or preserving a part of nature that is beautiful and unique.

- Relaxing with my husband, reading, scratching his back, and watching The Pacific (a documentary from HBO from a couple years back). This is always something we like to do together– read and watch TV. We love to talk in the car, and we love to sit quietly together. It’s funny, but sometimes at the end of a long day, just watching something we can really get into together is as much as we can process that day. But I am an addictive scratcher– you can not put someone near me and I won’t touch them. It’s how I soothe. And it’s peaceful to me, so it’s nice my husband is such a fan of being scratched.

- Everyone coming together to eat, feed each other, and talk about everything! The Rogers are all big talkers, and have strong opinions. A discussion always got going and whenever we were together, and sometimes it would go on for hours. I learned so much from my in-laws, and my mom, just sitting and discussing life, and since they are all pretty deep thinkers, I was never bored just listening to what each one had to say.

- Watching Drake & Alex interact with the younger kids. Looking at Chip’s girlfriend’s kids lets me see my girls really looking up to their “big cousins,” sort of how I expect Francie and Jane will be to my twin sister’s little boys. And I was really proud to have these two there to set good examples for my girls. And to be fun for them.

- Meeting my stepsister-in-law’s newest baby Charlie. Another Charlie!! I think that brings us to 17 in 3 generations if you count both sides (and the feminine forms of Charles).  He is so fun and lovable. Can’t wait to see this little guy grow up, along with ALL the other cousins.

When Wade passed away, Francie was a year and a half, and I was still pregnant with Jane. She was the only baby there at the time, really. Seeing my families get together, in a way they haven’t since Wade’s service, and seeing all the young faces, puts things in a different perspective. I can look forward more clearly, and also look back and see how we have made it through the grief. Rose Kennedy said: “It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”  She is on the mark with that one. We miss Wade, and Because Brothers has helped us cover that hole with scar tissue, and go on to enjoy every last minute we have together. Hopefully, there are hours and hours and years and years to heal, love, and be together.

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