New York! The Big Apple! Broadway! Whatever you think of when you think New York City, it is bound to have a little excitement associated with it, right? Well, I just got back from a weekend in Manhattan and I learned something there. Here’s the story…
I left on Friday to go spend the weekend with my niece Mona, who lives on the Upper West Side. I was ready for some frolicking and fun. Instead, what I got was warm (and not because of the 100-degree heat!) and cozy family time! Who would have thought?
You see, along with Mona, we were overflowing with family that hadn’t seen one another for a while, certainly not since the death of my father, who was truly the patriarch of the family. It turned out that my sister Elaine, nephews John and Mike, along with Mike’s wife Jade, nephew David, wife Belinda, their two sons and my niece Jennifer and her partner Rosita were all there! Everyone was so excited to see one another. We would be looking around at the museum, and we would just stop and start trading stories. We had long lunches and dinners where the focus was on each other and not the food. We commiserated with one another over the sweltering heat! We sat around Mona’s small apartment and watched the newest generation play, and we played right along with them. We teased Mona ceaselessly about her obsessive scheduling of vacations, but in the end, we appreciated having things planned out for us. One morning, when I was out taking pictures for Melissa’s blog, I came back and Mona had a lovely plate of breakfast made for me. Over lunch the last day, I found myself with my camera out, showing my nephew’s son the pictures from the weekend and having him tell me who everyone was. And, you know what? He did! I can honestly say that it was not the hubbub of the city that I am going to carry with me; it is the feeling that comes from being with family, and for that, I am very grateful!
During the few quiet times we had, and even during the loud ones, I often found myself thinking about my dad. It’a only been four months since his death, and I couldn’t help but think, “Look, Dad. Look at what you created — your family misses you terribly, but we will go on and live good lives, stay in contact and make you proud!”
So, next time you take a vacation, remember that what you think will happen might not be what really does happen in the end. Maybe what happens will be even better than you ever dreamed!