Thursday, December 02, 2004

Home Sweet Home NYC!

Just returned last night from Roanoke, VA. My Grandma died, so I headed down to Blacksburg for 6 days.

My plane last night was delayed due to bad weather. We finally took off few hours later when the plane for Charlotte arrived. I have no idea why they had to wait for that plane to arrive before the NYC and Charlotte-bound flights could depart. One good thing that came out of this was that the folks with connecting flights in NYC ended up transferring to other flights so they could still make their destinations on time, courtesy of US Airways. So, this meant more available seating and space on my flight. So, I enjoyed having a row to myself the entire trip.

As soon as I saw lights below and recognized landmarks, I grinned from then on until landing at LaGuardia airport. I truly missed the city. I missed fresh vegetables and fruits. I missed people whose hair are closer to their face than the clouds and not kept in place by excessive hairspray. I missed trendy outfits and seeing the majority of people being in better shape than the other way around. I missed diversity. I missed feeling in place and walking at my real faster pace.

As much as I love my family in the South, being in Southern culture was a shock and adjustment for me. It made me appreciate my NYC life a lot more. And, I also appreciate my Southern family for who they are. The more different we are, the more we realize how much more we actually have in common beyond cultural and lifestyle differences. One of those commonalities is the love we have for one another and accepting each other as who we are, regardless of where we live, what we do, and our worldviews. I'm proud of my father's roots and where I come from.

I'm also lucky to have a family who believes in each individual being true to herself and doing what is best for herself, even if that means leaving your family's hometown to live elsewhere. Grandma was viewed as a root that held the family together. The truth is, although she's now dead, we're still connected through our roots and will keep on branching out from the same single source that made us a family and related in the first place. We are connected not only through our bloodline but also through our love.

With a boost in love from my relatives, I flew back to NYC with a happy heart and a resolution to keep in touch with my relatives more frequently and to gather together more often, not through funerals and weddings, but to spend time together and love.

I'm going to send my cousins' kids some NYC souveniers such as "I love NY" t-shirts and more.

Jessica (my cousin's younger daughter), age 8, is really into leopard prints, high fashion, etc. Jessica has such a good taste in fashion and a sharp eye for trendy items. We went shopping the other day, and I was impressed. She reminds me of J.Lo and has amazing raw talents. One night, she turned on the CD player and improvised dances on the spot. I thought she had practiced these dance routines before or taken dance classes. She never did. She completely made up these dance moves on the spot, and she was really good. A natural. Jessica has "it." She's going to be big someday. I know it. The fire and passion is in her. Jessica is also very confident and energetic. I'm gonna find something to send to her soon from NYC. She kept on asking me about how shopping in NYC was, and her eyes widened when she heard how great shopping was. She asked her mother, my cousin, when they could fly to NYC to go shopping. And, Jessica is only 8 years old! She also picked up ASL really quickly, so we communicated easily. Someday, I'll post a pic of us as soon as I figure out how to post pics on this blog site.

Although it was a sad event that brought us together, it was also a great family reunion. I loved being with my relatives. Relatives flew in from all over the country, and we were a family the entire time, no matter how long it was when we last saw each other. We laughed, cried, joked, hugged, supported each other, told each other how we loved each other, ate, walked, shopped, sat snugly on the couches, and talked together.

I'll share more about the weekend in upcoming blog entries - such as the Boys vs. Girl friendly battles, the kids' reaction to Grandma at the wake, relatives, and so on.

Until then, good night.