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The Quiet After The Storm

Benjamin and Frances, image courtesy of the Grahams


When I woke up, I felt a little disoriented. I knew what happened the day before, but it was still hard to digest. Something clearly happened, my sister was here (by herself), and there were random foodstuffs in the house. It was quiet in the house, but it seemed almost normal otherwise. My father had an appointment for his haircut and left us in the early afternoon. I left my sister downstairs to take a nap because she never gets a chance to rest. I fussed around for a bit. When my sister and mother resurfaced, we began looking at my grandparent’s pictures I had borrowed for the documentary that I had toted back over for the repast, that are now sitting in the living room. Apparently, neither my mother nor sister had seen many of these pictures. I however, was used to seeing these images since I had been working on the documentary. We spent a few hours looking and talking right there, bodies and photographs spread out on the living room floor. By the time we were finished with the pictures, my sister had opened up the piano bench to select a music book. She was the only one in our house that could play, everyone else just tinkers. With only a slight hesitation, my sister began to play while my mother and I listened, becoming her captivated audience. Growing up, I always enjoyed sitting and listening to her play. It was calming until she hit a wrong note, then we all laughed. As she stated, it had been a long time since she played.

The dinner plan for the evening was a heaping order of hot, steamed crabs, which is the typical request when my sister is in town. When it was time to go pick them up, I accompanied her for the drive. It wasn’t too far and it gave us a chance to have another quiet moment together. On the way, we drove past where she lived ages ago, when she was in Medical School and still in the same state. It was just like old times when we got the crabs back home, just the four of us. I can’t remember the last time that has happened. It was nice, regardless of the circumstances that brought our first four together. The smashing and cracking of our meal took a few hours. This type of course is always a slow tempo situation. After dinner we jammed out with a music app my sister has on her phone that had entertained us at several family gatherings. We even make the dj wear sunglasses to make it more authentic. The app, which you cannot get on an iPhone (*angry Apple criticism), is a looper, allowing you to create music with preset tracks. It is awesome, especially if you are music lovers like us Browns. When we are with the kids, they commandeer it, but since it was all adults, we all got a chance on the ones and twos to dj the music. To my delight, my mother was totally into it. This has been a hard road for us all, but an even longer one for her. It was nice to see her enjoying something. I hadn’t laughed and danced that much in a while and it was wonderful break.

Before the night ended, I managed to repack, or more like reconfigure a few items in my unpacked suitcase originally packed for the Cape Cod trip. Now that things had settled down, my parents decided that they were going to proceed with their Myrtle Beach vacation for the remaining week that they had scheduled. I asked if I could accompany them because I too was in an absolute dire need of a break. They understood and had already anticipated or expected my request and kindly agreed. It would be a very early rise, but I can safely say for us all, the sooner we got out of here, the better. We were all looking forward to an escape. Bedtime came quickly and I surrendered once again.

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