Fred and I have so many dreams… some come to fruition, others are just… well… dreams.
We both miss Alaska, A LOT! At some point we will return… but right now we are in the Seattle area, living with my mom. I wouldn’t trade this time with her for anything. She is wonderful.
One thing that struck me during my years in Alaska was how family relationships are valued and nurtured. You often see many generations under one roof and whole communities interact and take care of each other. My years were spent in Juneau, AK and I suspect that Juneau was a lot like other larger communities that got busy with the hustle and bustle of life. Even with that, you made good friends and you knew that if you really needed something that there would be multiple people there to help and support you.
After getting married, I found myself far away from my family and friends. I cherished my conversations with my parents. It didn’t matter if they were 5 minutes or hours. Before my dad passed away, I called my parents multiple times per week. It used to be just on Sundays, but as my fathers health failed I felt like I needed to talk to him more. Sometimes 5 minutes was all that he could handle before he ran out of air.
I had no regrets with my fathers passing. We had said everything we needed to say. He knew that I was finally happy and had a wonderful man in my life that my whole family liked. I remember once when I was a teenager that my dad told me “honey, you don’t have to tell me everything.” It was just the way I was. There were no secrets. When he passed, I knew that he knew that I loved him and he loved me too. I knew that he was proud of me. I knew that he trusted that I would be okay.
I feel the same about my mom. Living with her has been great. Sure, we have our moments and irritations… but I know that if something were to happen, she would know that I love her, that we would have said everything we needed to say and that I would be at peace in the knowledge that I have been privileged to have this time with her. Not everyone gets this kind of quality time.
Fred and I will be heading back to Alaska. Not sure of the exact date, but it will happen. We have responsibilities and obligations in Alaska.
One of Fred’s dreams has been to revitalize his ancestral home in Angoon, AK. His clan home – Yéil S’aagi Hít (Raven’s Bones House). This is a dream that will come to fruition. It is not an “if”, it is a “when”…
There are a lot of things we need to do in preparation for our move to Angoon and the work that we will be undertaking to restore his home. It is more than just restoring a house, it is restoring our understanding of the culture and becoming a part of the community. Engaging family and learning new things and old.
We’ll be keeping track of the various projects and progress on our blog and archiving those on a new page – Angoon or Bust!