By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Fall is a pretty special time of year for my family. It’s the time of year when we have much occasion to celebrate, which may perhaps explain why it’s my favorite season of the year.
Sure, there’s the “regular” autumn stuff to celebrate: holidays, and family gatherings, and Christmas shopping and such, but my family is blessed to have a little extra reason for comfort and joy.
First, there are the birthdays.
My mom, dad, sister, brother and myself all have fall birthdays — with we three siblings’ birthdays occurring in quick succession on the calendar. Mine was last week. My brother’s was this week. And my sister’s is this weekend.
Then there’s the anniversary — Mom and Dad’s wedding anniversary is just two days after my birthday. This year, they celebrated a rather amazing milestone: 45 years of marriage. It’s a feat not many couples achieve, but it’s one they make look easy.
Like I said, we’ve got a lot of reason to celebrate each fall.
I think I’ve become more reflective about this kind of stuff the older I’ve become, and the more our individual paths in life take us along different roads.
It’s been years and years since we all lived together under one roof. We kids grew up. My parents grew in their wisdom. Things evolved.
We branched out from being under one roof, to being on our own — as all families do. Things continued to evolve and now we are the most far-flung — physically, anyway — than we’ve ever been.
Such is the nature of things.
And, slowly, I’ve come to realize that the concept of “home” isn’t reliant on a physical place, though my parents’ house remains a very real embodiment of that concept. Instead, the concept of “home” is intangible. It’s a place that comes to reside in our hearts as we follow the natural evolution of growth into adulthood and into creating families of our own.
Home is the ridiculous nickname my brother and I use for each other anytime we talk. (Yes, we use the same nickname for each other. No, I’m not going to tell you what it is here. But, if you ask me in person, I might).
Home are the conversations with my sister, where we pick up right where we left off, like continuing a paragraph in a book you’ve only moments ago set down — the continuation of a temporarily interrupted thought. Even if it’s been a while since we last talked.
Home is my mom, knowing me — and my siblings — to our very cores. Even the parts of us that are so unlike her. But, especially the parts of us that are exactly like her.
Home is my dad’s uncanny knack for sending a text message out of the blue that says, “I love you, daughter” at precisely the moment I need to hear it the most.
Gone are the days where our birthdays were spent in the same house, we kids waking up early with excitement to share in the celebration together. Now, we share birthday wishes over the telephone or during weekend meals set aside for such celebration.
It’s different, undoubtedly. But, it’s still home.
So, to my brother, my sister, my mom and my dad: happy celebration season!
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