When you loosen your grip you stop looking at the clock and enjoy the drive. You notice the trees and the clouds. You share a hamburger with your dog. You sing along with the music and sometimes you even roll down your window when it's raining.
When you loosen your grip you fall in love all over again with the sight of your Dad sitting in HIS chair. You play in the banter you and he exchange as if you just left off of that conversation yesterday, not months ago. You listen to his stories and laugh and know beyond a shadow of a doubt...he is good.
When you loosen your grip you make a special note of how beautiful and stunning your mother is. You notice subtle differences as if she has undergone a season of change and think to yourself "how wonderful for her." You relish the dialogue as it flows like a swift current between you and how both of you could inspire each other to do anything. You know that she makes you want to be better as well.
When you loosen your grip you try to rest up for a particularly promising evening. You enter your brother and his wife's home with a renewed appreciation to what their connection to each other and you means in your life. You hear the lively music as if you've entered a celebration filled with crowds of people over joyous but it's only you three. You fall in love with their porch and it's lights and their dog and the table and the chairs and the storm off to the East. And you talk about nothing and everything all at once. You laugh and nod and know that they are good. Happy Birthday, Josh and Priscilla.
When you loosen your grip you sneak back into your parent's bed even though you're forty and should know better but your mother has gone to church and your Dad is trying to clean miles of fences. You think to yourself that in the future somewhere you will own a mattress just like this and it will matter not if you even have a bed to hold it up because this mattress has got to be as close as you can get to sleeping on a cloud. And when your brother wakes you up with his giggling you still tell him to go to hell and you're happy that he giggles more.
When you loosen your grip you treasure the moment in the parking lot when you get to see your son for the first time in a week. You make note of the sparkle in his eyes and are grateful for how clean and well fed he appears. You attempt at humor and swim in any laughter he gives you. You smile because your very heart does.
When you loosen your grip you get home and know that sometimes you're exhausted and it's okay to cut yourself some slack.
Good trip. Many thanks to my beautiful family.