When I got the call that my Grandma Nani had passed away, I immediately started looking at airfare. Even with the differences we've had the past year or so, I couldn't imagine not being there for her funeral. Nani's house was one of the places us kids spent the most time, and she was very good to us.
I was both excited and nervous to make the journey to South Dakota mostly because I hadn't been back since my Mom passed away. What would it be like? Would I just be sad all the time? Would I feel empty? Who would pick me up? Who would help me load up my bag with Twin Bings to take home? Who would I stay with? All these questions flooded my mind as I boarded the plane in Seattle and once I stepped off the plane and saw my sister, these questions kind of disappeared.
South Dakota is still very much where my roots run, and my family is still my family. Yes, it feels weird, and void without Mom, and yes some of the answers to those questions are yes, but when I laid my eyes on my South Dakota Home, I felt peaceful, I felt comfort, and I felt really close to my Mom.
It helps to have this goofy girl waiting for me with baited breath on the other side of the flight.
I spoke with a Man on the plane on the way to Denver, he was a Mormon, and we had quite a conversation. I really enjoyed talking with him about religion and our thoughts on life and things. When we were getting off the plane I shook his hand, and wished him well, and turned to get my bag, just then, my flip flop broke. Like broke beyond repair broke. So, walking barefoot, I got on my second plane and made my way through the Sioux Falls airport... BAREFOOT and met my Sister on the other side where she stood holding a pair of flip flops. Did I mention I have the BEST. SISTER. EVER!
We hopped in her car, and went to eat at the Olive Garden, and then to Cherry Berry for some Ice Cream, while we were having Ice Cream we noticed that if we didn't leave like NOW we'd be late to pick up little miss Erica, and man would she be pissed if we were late on account of Cherry Berry. We swung through Madison and picked her up at school and then we were off to Watertown to see everyone.
We stopped first at Kathy's to see her and Brenda, then we went out to the Cemetery to see Momma. Her Headstone is just so beautiful. It was really great to be able to see it in person.
And she kind of has a killer "view" too.
After visiting Momma we headed out to Tony & Julie's farm to see them and the boys. I still can't get over the fact that my brother has a big red barn for me to photograph every time I pull into their yard.
And a Silo too!!!
And even a Goat!
The boys all ran out to greet us, and we spent the evening visiting as a family, It's so fun to be around those boys, they're a busy bunch!
I just snapped a few pictures here and there, little did I know this trip would land me bringing home the LEAST amount of photos ever. Weird. I love this shot of Paige with Kyle in the background, they're buddies, and I love how she keeps an eye on him.
My brother went about his business and fixed a few things, and like the good sisters we are, we watched!
Wait, did I mention A GOAT! This is Carter's goat Cammi, she's his 4H show goat. He's pretty proud of her, and really, after meeting her I can see why. She has such a kind look on her face, which is funny because it's a... goat.
We wrapped up the night with some Empire Pizza and hang out time with Kathy and Brenda. We tried to get to bed early (1:30am) because we knew we had a busy day in store...
But not before we made fun of our brother and his killer sock line!
I have to say, being together as a family feels really empty, and I'm sure the void will fill little by little as each of our hearts heal, I know in the long run we'll end up closer having to lean on each other to get through life.