Sitting by the fire with my only family in the US, staring into the fire on a Fall evening, beers in hand and having laughs. Yet I felt for the rubber fast forward button on my imaginary remote. The intensity of this last few weeks of knowing I was about to go sliding into the next chapter, so much of me struggles to be in the present in these moments. I want to make it speed, flicker across the screen quickly and just get there already. The goodbyes or as people remind me “see you laters” are just more common in my life than I like at all. So instead of being in the moment I want to rip off the band aid. I stand up, sit back down. I am restless. I truly want to be here and soak this time up but so many thoughts race through.

Yet then my cousin gets up, who is like my little brother. Stands in front of fire and addresses the small group there. Some friends of his and my good buddy Dan. A little speech arises, he wishes me on my way and talks about how he sees me. Tears well in my eyes in the dark. I’m back in the moment. I don’t really know what to say but he knows I really appreciated that.

Later on I stand by the embers and so does my cousin. He looks at me, I see a thought pass through his eyes, and he looks away.

“What was that thought?”

“Nah don’t worry.”

“No, come on!”

“It wasn’t nice”

“I want to know even more now!”

“Well, I looked at you and thought, we are getting old.”

“We are!!” I chuckled.

“And I also thought, where did 14 year old you go?”

We stared into the fire, the night coming to an end and I was in the moment for now. Picking up the remnants of the cook out, we walked inside humming The Backstreet Boys.


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