Misha is my aunt, my mother’s sister. She hasn’t always had short hair but it’s a way that I remember her. Up until a few months ago, I hadn’t spoken to her in years, maybe a decade. She moved with her family away from our very large one in Maryland to Nevada. I missed her so much, along with my three cousins. I thought they didn’t love us anymore. When I was in high school it seemed as if they wanted to get as far away from us as possible, getting into a spaceship to travel to another planet with a desert terrain.
Since then I’ve hung out with Stephanie, her oldest daughter, a few times. She was in the Marines for over ten years and I always loved how badass she was, well, is. She’s like a sister to me and it’s difficult to think of her as anything else. We have always connected and I feel like we can always pick up where we left off.
When I spoke to my aunt Misha, it was like talking to some version my future self. There are things about the way my grandmother, my mother, sister, and myself talk. It felt like home. I was so excited to hear her voice. This was the woman who came to my house when my parents weren’t home the time I fell and cracked my head open on a cement curb just after losing a game of street Badminton to a kindergartener (I was twelve). A registered nurse she came to my rescue, bandaged up my bleeding skull and my pride.
I was more excited to hear about the person she has become. Her youngest daughter was just graduating high school and going off to the Navy (all daughters have or currently serve in the military). She’s happy with her husband Warren. She was sick for a while but is coming back into good health. She is no longer in nursing but switched to I.T. which I thought was really cool. I think I was so worried about her being far away I never thought she could actually just be O.K. without us. I realized that I’m not a super fan of big family gatherings. Of course I love them and want to see them but sometimes it feels overwhelming. But I can understand how a person could want it to be just their family.
Now that I live in Colorado, Nevada is a short plane ride away. It’s comforting to know this part of my family is now closer than ever so I think a reunion is in store! Wish me luck!