45 years ago my parents left their home with their life’s savings and three young daughters clutched in their hands, fear in their bellies. At a time when there was no internet, much less reliable fiber optics and plane travel was a luxurious expense, this wasn’t “see you soon” it was goodbye.

There have been visits back over these 45 years but they were few and far between. Now to return to his hometown, to walk the paths he walked as a child, to pay his respects where three generations before are laid to rest, to walk the paths with two generations after, this is his life truly come full circle. 

My aunt has lived, farmed and raised her children on this land. Inheriting from her husband’s family she lives a few minutes walk from where she was raised. We enjoyed her fresh blueberries, currants and watermelons.

My mom, the youngest of six, has only her brother left. My cousins hold fond memories of my mom, they too know the fullness and breadth of her heart. We squeezed in as much conversation, laughter and tears that could fit into such a small space of time.  “Yesterday is history,
tomorrow is a mystery,
and today is a gift…
that’s why they call it present”
― Master Oogway