Snowmagedon is officially over, which means today, it's back to the real world. No more leggings, no more sports bra, no more family staying over because of the snow packed interstate.
Last week, a dear family friend passed away and my parents, brother and sister came to town and stayed with me for the funeral. Little did they know they'd be snowed in for days.
So we snuggled in, brought out the old photo albums, games and wine.
This picture captures a moment that has never before happened in my entire life. I'm almost 28 years old and I don't ever remember sitting down with my mother and going through old photographs. She recalled every face she could in the faded photos. Sometimes the photos opened up a memory and she started telling story after story. It's something I will cherish for the rest of my life.
There is something about time that makes people really stop and take a breath. Time stopped when we got the phone call that our friend had passed away. Time stopped as we heard the wonderful words said in celebration of his life and friendship. Time stopped when the snow came and shut us inside. I know it happens all the time. Emotions run high when bad things happen. But I can't help but think that the snow storm came at the perfect moment to bring some of my family close together at a time when we all needed a reminder how easy it really is to enjoy each other's company when you give it a chance. I got to witness my step dad be a true, lifetime friend to buddies he's had his whole life, I saw my mom's eyes light up, recognizing old familiar faces and I watched my sister flourish in her new role as a mother. All while keeping them warm, fed and cozy in my tiny little apartment. I usually think this little place is way too small, but when I think about how many people, how much laughter and comfort it held this past week, I think it must have an endless capacity.
I thought alot this week, about change, about sudden events that catch you off guard, about adjustments, about adding new faces into the folds of your family, and about saying goodbye to people you'd never imagine wouldn't be there the next day. And I think, isn't that something?
Isn't that something, to be snowed in with the people who love you the most, to be in such close quarters with each other that all there is left to do is make each other laugh and search for old stories to tell, even if everyone's heard them before? To be reminded that even when so much of life is spent going places, moving around, leaving here, there's so much magic to be made if we are forced to stay put.
Thank you to my family for not being scared of my tiny apartment. Thanks for making me laugh and inviting me down your trip on Memory Lane. And in memory of our friend, thank you for reminding us to listen to each other's stories, to always retell the great ones and to go out and make new ones whenever we get the chance.
In Memory of T.M. Wharton.