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A Nomad’s Notes: Trip home to Kentucky cathartic, a chance to reunite

If I had arrived home to Kentucky on April 13 instead of April 12, it would’ve been exactly one year since I had seen my mother in the flesh.

As it was, I flew home April 12 and flew back to North Carolina on April 18, allowing me just shy of a week to cram in as many visits and possible — and boy, I crammed in a bunch.

Flights are always half the excitement for me when flying anywhere, even back to Kentucky. No matter what airport it is, I always feel airports bring me closer to other people, to God somehow and to some truth about me that I can’t quite uncover.

I buzz with the feeling of being alive in airports. And my buzzing must give off some sort of inviting vibes because I made so many friends when I flew home.

My first friend was an older lady whose husband was charging his phone next to me in the Myrtle Beach (S.C.) International Airport.

My second friend was a British guy I let use my phone charger, and he ended up being my seatmate, too. He and his friends had just come back from watching the Masters (which he threw into conversation so casually) and were headed home to Heathrow via Charlotte.

I met another lady at the airport who told me about her recent back surgeries, bouts with cancer and failed attempt to make it to her son’s military graduation ceremony. But she could not have been more positive and humble, and of course her story humbled me and cemented my life philosophy of working as hard as I can to maintain a positive outlook despite my circumstances.

In the Charlotte airport, I made a friend in an older man who talked to me about why he would never be on Facebook, and how privatization of airlines has become such a necessary evil and a cash grab. The day prior I’d spent $20 just so I could be in the front of my plane on the way home instead of all the way in the back, in order to make my next flight with a hella short connection.

My favorite friend I made on the trip was my seatmate on my flight from Charlotte to Louisville, Ky. I could tell she was going to be unique when she called her husband and son before the plane took off and asked them to pray Jewish prayers for her to return home safely and sang in Hebrew. She then proceeded to offer me carrots and celery, repeating the sentiment that they’re not filling.

As she showed me photos of what she looked like years ago at a much larger weight and gave me her best tip for weight loss (lots of water before every meal), it made me confront the fact I’d fallen off the bandwagon again, as I always do. I’d like to think meeting her was God giving me an opportunity to see I can always start again, and I am.

My new friend followed me all the way through Louisville’s airport and into the arms of my mother, who actually wiped away a tear when she saw me.

We went to my aunt’s house and the next morning I had my first real cathartic experience by making peace with my aunt’s dog, who has cancer.

Years ago when the family first adopted their lab-mix dog, I went to get low to tell him hello. He reared back lunged at me. I wasn’t bitten but I was shy from then on out, and whenever I visited my family their dog had to be in another room.

A few ago I tried to reconcile with him by having him sit next to me while I fed him treats, but he still ended up growling and I gave up.

But Mom said it was time to put all that in the past. “I know you, Lindsay,” she’d said. “He’ll die and you’ll regret that you never made peace.”

Yep. That’s 100 percent accurate. I’m fairly predictable.

So my aunt and mom were there when I finally gave the dog some treats and finally, FINALLY we made peace. He, of course, still seemed a bit leery of me, and every once in a while I caught him giving me a look equivalent to the meme of that little boy side-eyeing the girl crouched down next to him, but otherwise he let me pet him and coo over him.

Unfortunately I also found a much less welcome animal in my aunt’s house I wasn’t expecting to see. That Friday morning I had told my aunt the one thing I didn’t miss about living in Brunswick County were the cockroaches/waterbugs. (In fact, just this morning a two-inch long one tried to cross my bedroom floor — unsuccessfully.)

Then later that night when I was with my mom in the bedroom where she was staying just next door to mine, I looked up at the ceiling and saw a waterbug hanging out. Mom joked it had come with me in my suitcase. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if something that little had hitched a ride with me.

After staying in Louisville for a number of days I made my way to Danville, Ky., where my father and stepmother live. It was when my dad and I were walking when I made peace with another animal from my past — or two, rather.

Years ago I cut through a yard in my dad’s neighborhood and fully expected to be bit in the arm by two large dogs I thought would attack me. They didn’t, but my memory and that fear has never left me.

So when my dad and I walked and I saw them for the first time since that incident all those years ago, I told Dad that I had the chance to reconcile with even more animals.

On Sunday, April 15, I accompanied my dad and stepmom on a trip to Elizabethtown to visit my niece, who was born March 31. She was only two weeks and a day old when I finally got to hold her. I have to say my niece is one of the cutest babies I have ever seen. I took a photo of her for my Facebook profile picture and someone said, “She looks just like you,” which is funny because we’re not blood-related. Her name is Marley, and I joked with my stepsister her nickname would be Bob.

I spent the entire visit cooing about how perfect Marley was. If you drank a shot every time I said the word “perfect” during that trip, you’d be dead within five minutes. But it’s true: Marley is perfect.

Another highlight would be getting to spend an evening with my best friend Leah at a local mall. I recently told Leah that wherever we go we leave behind a trail of amusement and confusion, because our conversations are often loud and need a translator to understand what’s happening. At least one of her exes has said that, and it’s so true. She’s my soulmate. Meeting her was random in college (“Hi! Do you have a Band Aid? I cut my foot.” “Nope, sorry.” Immediate friendship), but absolutely meant to happen.

But easily the No. 1 part of my trip was seeing my mother. My love for her is so soft and pure that sometimes at night I want to bury myself in my covers and cry for that fact. The last time she left my house, I sniffed the sheets for days because they smelled like her perfume.

She’s moving to Hawaii next month, and I’m not sure when I’ll see her again. But what I did get with her earlier this month is enough to tide me over until we’re reunited again.

And, oh, how cathartic will that be?

 Lindsay Kriz is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or lkriz@brunswickbeacon.com.