We may be technically homeless, but it doesn’t feel that way since we have multiple home bases around the country. A week ago we arrived at Jay’s parents house in Phoenix; a home which carries special significance for us. We met in October 2003 as college students in Flagstaff Arizona. We had just started considering each other dating material when I needed a ride to Phoenix to visit my grandmother who was living in Sun City at the time. In those days Jay drove a total lemon, a Chevy Lumina sans hub caps (since they would fall off when he took it off road). While not pretty, the car was still functional and served as the vehicle for our first road trip together. When I met his family that first weekend (before we were even introducing ourselves as girlfriend and boyfriend), I knew I realized I had found a great guy.
A bit rough around the edges, Jay becomes animated and caring when in the presence of his family. I still remember the first time seeing him around their kitchen table talking and laughing. His mom still referring to him as her baby and him not resisting the potentially embarrassing label. At the dinner table, as I heard his dad discussing his landscaping work and his mom excitedly sharing news about the next big author they would be bringing to the library, I finally understood why he could identify both desert plant life as well as great literary works. Until then I really wondered if he was just making stuff up.
For Jay and I both, our families are very important to us. I appreciated living in the DC area for the last two and a half years so that I could be closer to my family. Our extended family gatherings are epic and I will miss them greatly … Jay was just starting to get used to them… It will be hard to spend most of this year away from them, but I am reassured to know that I will have more time with my second family. I am also excited to see Jay back to being his best self, lifted up by his family and friends and the desert he knows and loves.