And I bet you didn't even know we were gone.
But oh, we were gone.
We were way gone.
Just Rose and me.
About as far away as we could go and still be in the U.S.
On a rainy day in a park.
A very big park.
In a very big city.
Where Rose got tired of being my one and only model.
We saw buildings so high,
that as we walked through the streets,
we couldn't crane our necks enough to see the tops.
Sandwiched between them, we saw gorgeous old churches,
and brand new memorials,
and the construction of a building that will be higher than the ones that fell,
on a day 10 years ago when sweet Rose was just a three month old baby.
We stood on historic ground.
We saw what our ancestors saw,
over 100 years ago,
when they stepped off of a boat and walked into this massive building,
speaking a foreign language,
carrying all their belongings,
and hoping to to make a new life,
in a new country,
where they would live out the rest of their time on earth,
and where one day,
a great-great-great granddaughter,
would stand at her grave.
And as hard as that ancestor's life was,
working in a factory,
giving birth to 10 children,
and burying many,
at this cemetery,
where another ancestor was supposedly buried,
we were told that the poor immigrants,
from the tenements,
rarely could afford headstones,
but are anonymously buried somewhere on the grounds,
in the shadow of the city.
But the best part of the visit.
Was seeing a brother I hadn't seen in
way too many years.
As a matter of fact,
the last time I saw him he was a teenager,
and I was a young mother with two tiny children.
He's the baby of our family,
the only one with red hair,
and the one with all the height,
which made him mercifully easy to spot in city crowds,
and on the jumbo-tron in Times Square.
And funny enough,
I'm just noticing now that we were there with Elmo.
My brother is a a red head,
but not that red.
He sent me a text as I was boarding the plane for home:
"See you when I'm 47."
But we will get him to the west coast
before he's eligible for
Because Rose has a new favorite uncle
(Hugh and Dan need to up their game),
and we need to feed him
as well as
Goodbye New York.
We'll miss you.
But it's good to be home.