Sunday, June 10, 2007

Forrest Comes To Juneau

On June 3, Forrest and his wife, Carolyn, came to Juneau on the Holland America Amsterdam.

The last time they came was June of 2001, and we did the important tourist things at that time. Since they got in at 7:00 a.m., we had breakfast with the Saturday Morning Breakfast Club. We went to the Mendenhall Glacier, where Forrest looked down at the glacier, waterfall, and lake from the visitor's center and asked me, "Joy Honey, what are those birds?"
"Which birds?"
"The ones by the waterfall."
"Those are people."
"What? My Gawd, that waterfall is big! Oh! My, that means the glacier is huge!"

We also went to DIPAC and they went up the Mount Roberts tram while I was teaching my parenting class. And we sat on a bench downtown talking. There was a raven about three blocks away that was calling and Forrest was astonished that we could hear it so well -- large bird, large lungs, loud voice. He was also amazed to see the Raven Creates Man mural on City Hall -- he had watched Northern Exposure but assumed the Raven stories were made up in Hollywood. That they were actually based on Native Alaskan tradition was a surprise to him.

So, they had already seen the sights. This time we sat and talked. We sat at a table and talked while eating Alaska king crab legs. We sat in the library and talked, saying hi to Kathy while we were there. We sat on a park bench and talked. We sat in a coffee house and drank Pepsi and talked. I haven't had as much time just talking to Forrest in years. Usually there are other family members around or things we are trying to do, or both. But this time it was just the three of us, and we had a long time. Time enough to get past the talking over each other and hopping from one incomplete subject to another stage and into spending some time getting into each topic. Telling Carolyn family stories from both of our perspectives. Telling each other family stories that had only been known by one of us. Sharing concerns about Mama and bragging about our descendants -- Forrest is soon going to be a grandfather for the second time (the first time his DNA will pass on, as he says, but not the first time he will have a grandchild to dote on), and he loves kids. He is a good dad, he is a good grandfather.

We were able to talk to each other about our childhood -- Forrest is really the most confirming person for me, because no one else saw what we saw and many would consider us exagerating or nuts. But we know. We lived it. We watched each other live it. And, I will blog about some of what we discovered in that discussion soon. And I will blog about being able to talk to him about politics and about his weight loss surgery also. So, you can figure that in the near future you will be reading at least two more posts about my brother.

1 comment:

Gina said...

How lovely that you had so much time to reconnect!