Any road that we re on for more than 10 minutes is the long road to Averi. This past week we had to spend 16 hours on what I told her is the true long road home, known to others as I 70. I have now traveled this road in my 32 years more times than I can count.
My husband has probably come to hate the road because it is such a long drive but something about the open road either surrounded by the mountains as we drive through Maryland and Pennsylvania and then the stretch of flat farmland as far as the eye can see through Indiana and Illinois has always brought me a sense of peace. I'm an always have to be moving kind of person even though as I'm getting older I'm learning to slow down, but driving has always given me the opportunity to just slow down, look at the beauty that surrounds me in not just the scenery but in so many other aspects of my life. I do a lot of thinking and reflecting on those long roads.
For whatever reason this time on the journey of that long road I thought about something that s been at the back of my mind for a long time. Maybe it s because more than ever before I feel torn between the two places I call home, Missouri and Maryland. As I told a friend who also has two homes it s like feeling like you belong in two places. So some may find this morbid, but the thing that I keep asking myself is when my time here with my family has expired and I take the true road home from this life to the next what are my wishes? Now I hope this isn't something I have to seriously consider until I'm an old woman but unfortunately I've watched too many family, close friends and students lose young parents and siblings way before that old age marker. It happens. I live my life the way I do - embracing change and searching for the next thing on the bucket list- because who knows how long any of us have.
Most people I know unless they are older tend to be buried, and I think that s the route people go when something unexpected happens to younger people. But I've never been a confine me one spot kind of person. One of the things that s always crossed my mind is where would I even be buried. I could see my family back home thinking it should be there where all of them are and will be buried. But what about my husband and children? That s not their home, but I don't know at this point if any one spot will be our home.
My other thing is just as I've never felt the closest to God in a church, a cold marble tombstone as pretty as it is, isn't where I feel the closest to the people that have already passed on. They live in our hearts, in our memories, and if you look close enough you can see them in your life.
So the conclusion I came to on that long road home that connects me to the roots of my childhood that I love and the place that gave me wings to create what has become my adult life, is whenever the time comes for God to call me to my heavenly home I want my ashes scattered not literally on I 70 because ran over by a bunch of semi s isn't my ideal vision but in those fields and mountains overlooking that long road home that defined so much of who I was and who I am in this life.
Even though my husband thinks of me as the more grounded one (someone has to be :) ) I like to think I'm a pretty free spirit. I want something that even in death represents who I was. If my family and children still wanted a headstone to visit I guess that s their call. But the best place to visit me will not only be in their memories, but in all the photos and journals, notebooks and online, that I ve kept over the years.
So maybe at 32 it s a little scary, morbid, whatever you want to call it, to think about what my personal choices are if something were to happen to me. But at the same time for those that know me well know I don't like others making my choices for me and two I always like to be different and find ways to make some of the things I do choose (like all our wedding decisions which some liked to give me grief on) symbolic of who I am.
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