The past 4 days I have spent with family members who I have not seen in over 10 years. It has been an eye-opener! It is like that line that Reese Witherspoon says in the movie Sweet Home Alabama, "...and you have a baby! In a BAR..." I had never thought there were places like that still in the United States...but I found one during my family time! Wow!
I love my cousin dearly, but she, to my surprise, had her wedding ceremony in a bar. Kids of all ages were allowed to be there, as long as they were not drinking underage. It was kind of nice, yet very shocking. Being in that part of the country, made me think that there are simpler ways to life than the hussle and bussle of the city. That part of my family has found peace within themselves and each other that they never had in the city. They have found happiness, love, respect, and joy also.
There is also a great tattoo shop, which is owned by my uncle, called Willows Grove Tattoo. It is part of his house, but the shop has a down to earth feel to it. Everybody in Newcastle, WY knows everybody. Several people throughout the country have come to see my uncle's tattoo shop, on which he has marked on a map hanging above his desk. My cousin and her new husband had my uncle do their rings as tattoos, instead of using actual rings. During the wedding ceremony, they had borrowed rings from family members to trade to each other. I finally found a fitting tattoo that will both honor my deceased daughter and remind me that I still have another child that needs me here on this earth. I have been needing permission to forget my youngest, but remember her, and unfortunately in all my grief, I have been just trying to stay alive and have started to forget my older daughter also. It is not right, but I vow to always do right by her, no matter what that entails, and stop living in the past, playing the "could have, would have, should have, or what if..." games.
Maybe through all my soul searching that I have done lately, I will finally find a place to call "home" for my heart. Everybody in that part of my family were able to do it, and find peace, and one day, soon, I will too.