Written by: Jeremy Baumhower
I’m kind of excited, today. My sister and her wife, are currently driving cross-country to come home. Their three-day hike from Las Vegas to Toledo, is the first step in their August 1st arrival.
My younger children will finally have their Aunt(s) in their everyday lives. If I were to copy & paste this week’s schedule, they’d turn around the truck, for sure. My oldest, MacKenzie, gets Jessie back in her life, at an age when she is older then when my sister left.
I’m incredibly grateful for Facebook. It has allowed me to share a portion of my kids’ lives, with them. I never had to tag her, because I knew she would see and read every single post. My A.D.D. and the time difference between EST and PST– makes me a terrible brother at texting and calling. I knew they would see my updates on Facebook.
I just wanted my sister to see her nieces and nephew, the rest of you were fortunate that I left it all “public”.
My kids are about to find out who their dad’s sister is. How she isn’t just a woman that visits once a year, bearing gifts around Christmas or birthdays. How they share the same blood, skin color (polar bears), thick hair, disposition, competitiveness and or attitude. Why my parents tell stories and constantly compare them, like she left yesterday. Yet, they have no idea.
My hope is that my sister will see and feel the evolution of our family. It is so different than it was 17 years ago, when she left.
We are open-huggers now. It was awkward at first, to have my mom want to hug me every time I left, but now it is part of our good-byes. No more hiding how much we feel about each other.
We are making up lost time, with the “I love yous”.
My dad was only two years sober, when my sister went away to school. The pain was still fresh, but now I don’t actually remember how it felt, when he drank. We are all affected differently. However, he is exactly the man, my mom believed and promised him to be.
I have missed my sister terribly, and have absolutely hated every time she has gotten back on the plane to return to her newer home. I only have one sibling in this world, and she could not have lived any further away. It might has well been China.
The magical thing about this city, is how one rarely escapes, forever. It has this amazing power to suck us back in… We all come home. I used to tell everyone ” I was cursed to be from here”.
Now, I see things a little differently.
The best part of growing old, is the “growing”. Science states our ears and noses never stop increasing in size. I think they need formulate a way to measure our hearts’ growth.
I’m pretty sure mine is not the same as it was, some 17 years ago.
Not only have I been using Facebook as a way of selling Toledo to the world– I was selfishly trying to remind one person as to where she was from. How this city and my family have been changing. How special her nieces and nephew are.
….That I found out, I was an asshole– never intending to be.
Curing yourself of being an asshole, especially unintended, is not easy process. I don’t think one can ever be truly cured. But I have been working on it, like my dad has worked on his sobriety– day-by-day.
My battle has been post-by-post. Story-by-story. Word-by-word.
My kids are the reason I am a recovering asshole, why I fight my asshole-ism. Every day they reward me with such unapologetic love. Love so great, I am not deserving.
I thought that my lifelong penance, would be the continued absence of my sister. That my kids would pay the price for a crime, they never committed.
For whatever reason, Karma, felt otherwise.
Jessica– Because you know, I could never tell you this in person… nor will I ever acknowledge the above words; I just know you’ll read this.
I’m sorry. I love you. I’m happy you’re home. You will soon experience how much you’re missed, loved and how great it feels.
Shit will be different. It already is.