I love road trips, been doing them with Aaron since we met, they used to be a bit shorter, but now driving from Texas to Canada is quite the road trip in itself! The thought of getting to spend time with family and see everyone makes my heart so happy that I can’t even explain it.
First stop is somewhere new for the boys. I get to bring them and Aaron this trip to Rossburn, Manitoba, where my dad grew up. This is where I used to go every summer to live on the farm, ride combines and swathers, play in the bins with wheat and ride tractors, quads and motorbikes! This was the best for a tomboy like me and I loved the small, quiet town lifestyle. I don’t even know how many people were in Rossburn, maybe a few hundred…so really small town! But being there was fun and I even had asked one year if I could stay and go to school there for grade 3, the answer was NO WAY….as a mama now, I totally get that!
To be able to drive up there now and show my family where I spent my summers is so special. Since none of them ever had a chance to meet my Papa Smurf, this will be a way for me to show a big part of him, where he grew up and made him the man and dad he was. We are now 15 hours away and I’m sooooo excited with anticipation of seeing my Aunty Adele and Uncle Walter, seeing friends I used to play with in the summers and seeing family that I have’t seen in over 17 years, if not longer. It will be very bitter sweet for me.
I will get to share the town with my boys and remembering that the last time I was there was with my mom, dad, brother and sister and their families, which was for my Aunt and Unlces 25th Wedding Anniversary. Just thinking of it and remembering us all being together makes my heart break a little bit for the lonliness I still feel for my dad and my mom. Being in Rossburn will bring back so many memories, of times with my dad especially and my mom and being there with them every time I went. This will be the first time going there without either one of them with me…. since I’ve lost them both to cancer………almost unreal.
So as excited as I am, I know that there will be emotional moments and I have to remember to embrace each one. To remember all of those good memories, and that it’s okay to cry because I miss them and I want them both back and it’s okay to have my boys see that side so that they know it’s okay to feel emotion and let it out. That you can love someone and still miss them and cry, but to always focus on all of the good times and memories you had with them, because that is what counts.
So as I write, I just learned what I want to get out of this first stop in Rossburn. That I want to make this a memory for them to look back at and smile. To be able to show them why I loved the farm so much when I was growing up and why it gave me such peace and joy to be in the tractors or on the fields……allergies and all! I want them to feel the love of my dad and what he represented and I pray I can fill a portion of his shoes so that my boys can really see the blessings they have where they live now. This trip to me is where everlasting memories come from, this is where they will learn about their Gigi (Grandpa) and more about his side of the Ukrainian family. When I think of it that way and remember I’m sharing a special part of my dad with the boys, it helps soothe the pain……if only a little.
Thank you God for providing us time, means and health to go there so that I can share this all with my boys……God is good ALL the time….