Flying into Tucson for our daughter’s wedding, I can’t help think of the fun memories I have of this place. A wild child abandon was had here. As we landed I am reminded that here is where my father is from and where he seemed the most free and himself. Here is where we rode horses in the wash and didn’t comb our hair. Here is where we walked in the desert finding horned toads, tarantulas, and lizards. Here is where I broke my arm, got stitches, and kissed a boy named Paul at the Planetarium in sixth grade. Where Mr. Thurber challenged me to keep informed of current events and to speak proper English. “O’s are not 0’s, don’t confuse the two.” There was also tension here.
This was not where my mom was from. She was from the Central Valley of California and that is where she felt the most comfortable in her skin. Surrounded by her brothers and sisters and her parents, her life was not one of abandon but of responsibility and deep connectedness. It is where I learned about family, where I was deeply loved, where my baptism, first holy communion, birthday parties, Christmas celebrations and sense of well being came from. It was where my Nana and Tata lived and we created a life around them. I missed them terribly when I was away from them.
As we rented the car and headed to the hotel to change and get ready for the wedding it was there that I realized the tension in the middle of parents who wanted such different lives. As children we didn’t know about any of this. We were comfortable in both spaces perhaps because we had a sense that we belonged in both or maybe because children adapt.
Now as an adult I realize how hard it must have been for the two of them to each want such completely different things in life in what basically seemed like two different worlds.
It was in the drive to the hotel that it became clearer than ever that love is just one part of a relationship. That there are goals, dreams, lives created, and in blended families, mine was not as a child but is as an adult, children’s well being to consider. Love really isn’t enough. Oh it sounds romantic and our hearts want to make it work but the reality is that love cannot sustain the full lives of what we are called to live and how we choose to live this one life we have.
….two worlds can collide and yet not coincide…
I write today as a warning, as a sign, as a person who didn’t understand the tension we lived in until yesterday, and the realization that two worlds can collide and yet not coincide. My parents eventually divorced. My dad lived out the rest of his days here in Arizona, my mom remarried and is content to stay in the Central Valley, she and Joe do not travel far from home, a half hour drive often seems too far to go. It worked out for both of them just not in the way they would have thought or imagined. Life has a way of doing that.