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500 Miles

Updated: Jan 16, 2022

I would drive 500 miles and I would drive 500 more just to see these faces and spend quality time together with them once more.

Sometimes I feel like I am not a very good family member. My life's journey took me mainly solo to do healing work on myself. One of my closest family connections, my brother and his family, live 500 miles away. My brother is the rock in my life. He is the wisest most unconditionally loving man I have ever met and is the main reason I am who I am today. He saved me when I was 17 and I am eternally grateful for my big brother.

I was rebuilding myself from a mental emotional crisis after they moved away 6 years ago. I'm bad with phone calls and video chats. I'm not too on top of keeping up on social media. I am a big supporter of quality time, however, it doesn't happen easily with distance on top of pandemic. Over this holiday break I was blessed with a few days with my brother, sister-in-law (not pictured here), neices and nephews. This specific crew has grown so much since my last visit 5 years ago.

The littlest ones- Chase, 4 and Larry, 3- blocked my exit yesterday attempting to get me to stay. This visit was my first time meeting Larry who was officially adopted last month and my first time seeing Chase since his adoption last year. Mia 9, comforted me when I was crying because it was so hard to say goodbye. Aiden and Abi turned 17 yesterday and I can hardly believe that they are looking at colleges. Also not pictured here are 4 month old foster twin neice and nephew who were a pleasure to suggle and care for while visiting- as this crew shifts around alot and is a landing pad for children who need it, what a gift to the world.

Suffice it to say today so far has been one of a streaming mix of smiles and tears as I process our time together. My vow is to do better to be a part of their lives. I hope they forgive me for taking so long to visit, hopefully it won't be so long in between our next reunion.

Raymond D. Carpenter Christine Bacon Carpenter

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