It’s been nine years since we moved into our house.
On Christmas Day, I realized this has been my home longer than anyplace else. We wandered to the eagles’ nest about a half mile down the road just as the light was starting to fade, and perched on nearby branches in the freezing stillness were the two resident eagles. After I described how they’re always near the nest at dusk, my brother-in-law asked how long we’ve been here. This place determines the rhythm of my daily existence and has worn tracks in my consciousness.
When we moved nine years ago, I was recovering from surgery. I’d had my ovaries removed to reduce my risk of cancer, because I'd learned I have a BRCA1 gene mutation. I still remember what fear closing in feels like; the way I spun out of control before my hormone dosages were sorted out.
Nine years ago my grandmothers were still alive. I regret that they never got to visit me in this house; their days of traveling were over by the time we moved here. In the panhandle of Texas, where they lived, the sky is total. I wish I could have shown them the shapes and shades light can take when it reflects off the water.
My grandmothers would have enjoyed the ways Abbott and Cal are becoming like them. Both boys have my grandmother Lorene’s sense of humor. My grandmother Louise would have loved seeing us yesterday afternoon when we walked the beach; Mt. Rainier loomed grandly, and the city's lights were starting to twinkle, and all three of us took out our phones to take pictures, just like she always used to do.
These years, here, are the best years of my life, though they won’t be, for Abbott and Cal. They’ll find spouses and have sons or daughters, and someday in the future they’ll feel the way I do now. The happiest time in their lives, if they’re lucky, will be when they’re raising their own families.