My excitement along with a fair degree of trepidation, and sadness was mounting within. I had packed the last few remnants for my flight back home. Flight 4476 would be the first leg of my short journey to, ah, yes…sunny California. “My how I have missed you Golden State,” I thought to myself. But then, what was I leaving behind in Grand Junction, or should I say Grand Consumption? It possessed an integral part of my being…paternal family and daddy. My loving Dad and his wonderful spouse had taken VERY good care of me. I had wanted for nothing, and could have asked for no more. It would be fair to say I had been spoiled by them both on a physical and psychological plane. For this I was grateful, since when I had set out for Colorado I had carried with me so many questions about what turns my life would take over those next two months. Given love and support in my father’s home had lent me the strength to return to California armed and prepared for whatever I might face. And indeed I had plenty to face. But, why oh why did he ever leave California for Colorado?

It was my last drive through the streets of the town, for what I knew would extend into an unknown amount of time. As I made my way to the airport, along with Dad and Step-Mama, I felt my strength for the near future grow. We shared good-bye hugs and kisses at the curb of the entrance. Indeed it was bittersweet. Their warm hugs and misty smiles would be missed. We barely held our emotions in check. They wished me love, and indeed, I embraced it with all of my heart. Maybe we were parting, but only in a tangible sense. I would carry their support with me daily. My countenance girded. As I checked-in at the airport things went quite smooth, not at all what I had expected. This poor little town was always so backward. Ha! Went through security without a hitch, and arrived at my gate just in time to hear, “Attention passengers! Those waiting for flight 4476 to Salt lake City… this flight has been delayed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.” I just knew it! My life never went without a hitch. Thankfully, I had a good book to read and didn’t allow myself to ponder over life, so I wasn’t too upset, just a little concerned that I would miss my connecting flight to California. My maternal family would be waiting at the other end, and somehow it just would not be right to extended our separation any longer than we already had. They missed me and needed.

Well, I am happy to say I didn’t miss my connection. Even had time to grab an espresso before boarding the steel bird in Salt Lake. Happy dance…espresso and on time, it is at this point I must say, that I realized, the small things in life are what get us from point A to point B in a comfortable manner! All went well. I boarded my flight and felt happy that I was that much closer to palm trees, the Pacific Ocean and my proportionately Italian family.

I spent most of the flight reading, but periodically drifted away from the pages and into the not so distant past. The past prior to my trip to Colorado. My thoughts gripped me with the deepest of sincerity and tore at my heart. Since the death of my maternal grandmother who had passed-away several months back, and in whose loving home I had been raised, my life had become ugly and very difficult. Although, not unmanageable. Chosen as the executor of the estate by my grandparents I had been left to make weighty and unpopular decisions, one thing they themselves had not wanted to do. It would be fair to say I now had people/family in my life who treated me as though I were their mortal enemies. It amazed me that anyone with whom you’d always thought loved you could turn so ugly and hateful under such circumstances. This made me sad, but I had no choice in the matter. I felt secure in the decisions I had made. My grandparents had instilled within me a firm sense of family loyalty and justice. I will stand by these morals till the day that I die. I was determined.

As the plane cruised over what were now distinguishable figures on the ground, I knew at some point life would be okay. The landmarks below cried out to me, “Welcome home! We have missed you.” My smile was hard to retain as I waltzed down the stairs of the plane and into the sweet, balmy air to the terminal. I could smell rain in the air. No sun, but the air was that much sweeter being trapped by the clouds. There to greet me at the curb outside of the terminal were more love and hugs. They asked questions and filled-me-in to the latest familial activity. We went on to have a grand evening under the swaying palms in the backyard. Homemade Italian dinner, music, wine and banter which had always been at the core of all of our family gatherings. We truly loved one another and were pleased at every opportunity to display our resolve to remain so.


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