We just returned from a trip to Kansas. A plan initially booked to bid farewell to my ailing grandmother, we unexpectedly found ourselves in the middle of a full-fledged love fest.
We put in our time at the nursing home. We spent hours entertaining my nephews with song, dance and wild rides in the Kubota. We shared stories with brothers, mothers, aunts and uncles. And the whole time one simple phrase kept going through my head: don’t forget your roots.
I’m proud of these who’ve influenced the person I am today and slightly embarrassed that I don’t go home more often. It’s now more obvious that ever why I’m so drawn to these people. Good parents—and the family that surrounds them—provide a support system unlike any other. It’s safe. It’s secure. It’s a network of kindness, built-in backup plans and places to crash.
I’ve thanked my family before. I’ve tried to keep up with phone calls, Christmas cards and birthday gifts. But this last visit was absolute proof that spending time with them is still the best way to indulge in their generosity and knowledge.
Life on the west coast is everything I could’ve ever hoped for, but my heart will always be in Kansas. At least as long as my family lives there.