This Christmas, I almost made the decision not to come home. I am glad that I did. It’s not a far trip to come home (in comparison to my other friends) but it isn’t exactly a short one either. I planned to stay home and work on some to-do lists and readings for school. Then, not long after making this decision, I called home (which I do practically every day), and got news that my dad could come pick me up. I debated but not too long. Within a few days, I made the decision.
The trip home seemed like a short one. Normally, it feels like it takes forever. There was no snow. We made a few wrong turns, which were quite entertaining actually. The first one was just outside Woodstock region. My dad had to make a stop. I asked him why. “Just nevermind.” That’s my dad for ya!
Finally when we made it to Toronto, my dad took me and Alicia out to eat at a nice Italian restaurant. Before going to this place, my dad said that he didn’t want to spend a lot of money on pizza anywhere. That’s understandable. We walked to the restaurant from my sister’s place. It wasn’t far. But when we arrived, I told him “This place looks expensive.” He just says, “No, let’s go in.” It was a nice place. Cozy. Everyone seemed to know everyone. Hugging everywhere (or maybe that’s what Italians do). The pizza was really good and at a reasonable price for Toronto. “La Passione” … I recommend it.
When we had left for the final trip up north, I was still sluggish. Well it was early in the morning and I was still recovering from being sick that previous week. During the trip, I was able to read. I brought my earphones to listen to my ipod but this time I opted not to. I wanted to enjoy my time with my dad who I haven’t seen in a long time (okay well maybe since the summer…still that’s a long time for me). It was a safe trip since we ultimately made it Sudbury to drop off the rental car. Moving our luggage into my family’s vehicle, my dad noticed one of the tires were flat (well, not entirely flat but flat enough to be concerned about another 1.5-2 hour drive). Luckily, we made it to an auto-garage to get it fixed. I remember sitting in these garages with my dad as a kid. I hated it but when I sat there, I didn’t mind it. I was spending time with my dad. We both chuckled when we wondered what my sister’s pet ferret must be thinking about where the car was going and all that noise. It wasn’t a long wait. The tire was fixed and it was done at no charge (I don’t know if that’s a normal thing to do but it was nice either way). Finally on the road for last lag of the trip, all the way to Manitoulin Island.
We arrived at my sister’s house. I didn’t even wait to grab my luggage and ran inside. As I opened the door, my nephew ran out of the bedroom, pyjamas, messy hair, inquisitive look. As soon as he noticed it wasn’t someone he could recognize, he ran back in. Scared. My sister came out with my nephew and decided to let him stay up for a bit longer. I was happy. He saw the Western Mustang on my pants, pointed and said, “Naaaay!” He then saw my sister’s pet ferret, pointed and started panting like a dog. Yup, that’s a classic example of Piaget’s pre-operational stage in child development for you: everything with a tail, four legs, and fur is a dog. Little people have a way to bring a smile to your face with all these little things that they do. Within a few minutes, he was running and playing with me. I just love my nephew so much.
While at the house, we ate some supper, played some games, watched my nephew being silly, etc. Sitting here writing this post, I am happy that I came home. The one thing that I asked from my family was not to get to me anything this year. Yet, coming to pick me up in London was the greatest gift of all. I am thankful to see my growing, inquisitive, smiling young nephew. I am thankful that both of my parents are still here. I am thankful that my mom is able to cook me and my family some good freakin’ meals, holidays or not. I am thankful for the snow that is coming down today. Being thankful for all these things, I must not forget about those that are not that fortunate. Those without a family. Those apart from their family. Those without a home. Those without a bed. Those without clothing. Those without warmth, love, etc. Those who have family and friends making a different journey home…to the spirit world. All of which are in my thoughts/prayers this weekend. Like I wrote earlier, the greatest gift of all, for me, is being able to come home and spend the weekend with family.