Friday, August 12, 2011

Blue Ridge, Georgia

In just a few weeks I'm going to visit my Granddad and his wife Chris in Blue Ridge, Georgia. It's been about 8 years since we've spent face-to-face time together. I'm looking forward to seeing what his life in the eastern hills is like. They live on a huge piece of land down in a valley, in a big house with lots of rooms. They have horses and motorcycles and gardens. I can't wait! I want to pick apples, drink sweet tea, sit on the front porch and hear stories about his life. HE, on the other hand, is hoping I'll go river rafting on one of the Level 5 rivers near his house. Sorry Granddad, but I don't want to die.

[photo of the Blue Ridge Mtns. found on this sweet blog]

In his younger years, when he was in the Navy, he was the most handsome man I've seen in photographs. Then years later, he wore his hair long with tiny glasses and leather and rode Harley's all over the U.S., and looked just like Jerry Garcia. Still handsome, in a different way. Now he's 72 and his hair is short and I want as much time as possible with him.

I don't have very many family members who are active in my life. I wish I did. Family to me is like the missing link, the thing that helps me make sense of who I am, why I am, etc. When I have a family someday, I want my kids to have a sense of belonging, of knowing who they are, whose they are, and why they are. I want that sense of legacy to start now, with my family, my Grandad, and this trip.

I hope he's prepared to answer all the questions I have for him. I want to know about our Cherokee relatives, and how connected he is to them. I want to ask him about my Grandma, the one I've never met, what he remembers about her, and if her hair was really as platinum blonde as the black & white photo I have of her makes it look. I'm going to ask him why he left Southern California and Warner Brothers and moved across the country to start a new life. I want to know what it was like when my mom got back in touch with him after almost 15 years of silence. And I want to know what it was like for him to say yes to Jesus Christ, just a few months back. And just ask him what it's like to be him.

I might be able to dig these things out of him, and I might not. Either way, I pray it's a sweet time with him and Chris. I'm just happy I get to be with him.

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