Where will you go next?
Last month, Highway 29 became the road traveled as we moved our youngest son to his destination.
It’s the place where he said “hello” and we said “goodbye.”
In December 1960, Arlington is where my parents met at the Ft. Myers Officers’ Club only to marry the very next month in St. Louis by a Justice of the Peace.
It’s the place where they said “hello” and then said “goodbye” as the army sent my father on assignment to Iran.
In 1964, the same question was asked of my army colonel parents as they left overseas to await their next assignment.
Where would they go next?
Arlington. Specifically, 1500 Arlington Boulevard.
It’s the place where I said “hello” to a new country and “goodbye” as an orphan during my adoption and naturalization in 1967.
In the years that followed, Highway 29 would be the road where memories flashed of places and people: musings from grandma regarding the “old folks’ home” in Culpeper and memories of family reunions in Schuyler. It was also the road where countless field trips ended in Appomattox or Charlottesville; where dad and I would road trip between college and home; where my husband and I would road trip between our temporary “home” for his graduate school and our home town.
In the coming years, I would travel frequently on Highway 29 between High Point and Lynchburg during caregiving years.
Where I said “goodbye” to the way my mom and dad used to be and said “hello” to Alzheimer’s, dementia, and physical illness.
In August 2001, I eulogized my father at Arlington National Cemetery.
Long distance family members said “hello” while I said “goodbye” to my father.
In October 2001, I laid my mom to rest beside my father.
The place where my parents said “hello” and I said “goodbye.” Again.
In 1988, my husband was coming to the close of his graduate studies when we asked,
Where will we go next?
This year celebrates his 29th year in private practice. We are thankful for this destination where we started his career.
We said “hello” to High Point and “goodbye” to Chapel Hill.
And now, with the passage of time, Highway 29 becomes significant again.
Where our son says “hello” and we say “goodbye.”
Full circle on a road that’s a straight path.
I’m thankful for the significance of Highway 29 and 29 years as the former has been a connector of three generations while the latter has signified the journey of life thus far.
A place of beginnings and endings. A place of joy and tears. A specific place with numerous mile markers that signify the history of our family.