Hugging Mom in Person for the First Time in 20 Months

For the first time in almost two years, I am visiting Nebraska for a family wedding. One of the most exciting things has been seeing my mother, Louise, in person after nearly 20 months. FaceTime is great and was a life-saver for certain, but there is nothing like being able to hug your mom in person. At 86 she is a bit frailer than when I last saw her, but she remains active with her church and hospital volunteer work.

The night I arrived, my niece, Lauren, the oldest daughter of my youngest brother, David, cooked us dinner. Soon she’ll be leaving to attend graduate school at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Lauren loves to cook and replicated recipes from a favorite chef. Much laughter and catching up was shared. The previous week, David and his wife moved their middle daughter, Katrina, into her new apartment in Brooklyn, where she is in school at the Pratt Institute. There was a near moving disaster when the moving company didn’t show up, and David, Mary, and their daughters ended up having to move Katrina’s possessions into a three-story walk-up. Later the whole family saw Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett in concert, celebrating Mr. Bennett’s 95th birthday, which by all accounts was incredible. I must admit, I was more than a little jealous. I’m planning to visit Lauren in May of 2022 and fingers crossed, that trip will come to fruition.

On the wedding front, my nephew, Layton, and his bride, Amanda, took the time to stop by my mom’s so I could meet her. Most of that side of the family is from Texas, so it was especially lovely to meet Amanda before their big day and learn their plans for the future. That’s so much nicer than cursory introductions at wedding events. My uncle is co-presiding at the ceremony, while the wedding is being held at Mom’s long-time church. After so long, I’m excited to spend time with my other two brothers and family members only viewed through FaceTime.

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