Thursday, October 30, 2008

Paths...


Amidst the hectic book schedule, we managed to make our way out to the botanical gardens. Four years ago, Cynthia and Greg got married there. They had a costume wedding and many of the attendees were dressed up like fairies, (even the preacher had a wolf tail). Needless to say, it was quite an event to see. Today we came back to the botanical gardens to walk down the paths and remember and celebrate their anniversary.

For me, it wasn't just an anniversary for them. In a way, it was an anniversary for myself as well. It was the anniversary of a turning point in my life. You see, things weren't always how they are now. Four years ago, I was a very different person. If you would have asked me where I envisioned myself now, I imagine that it would have been vastly different from the reality of the current circumstances. I probably would have said something about finishing grad school, or mentioned where my solo shows would be, or even if I was going to summer in the Hamptons or the Berkshires. I probably wouldn't have mentioned my family, as at that time we were some what estranged from one another. Sure, we kept up with one another through our parents, but the relationship I had with my siblings was barely there. We were simply living different lives and going down paths that didn't cross much. My focus was on my art, my career, my spirit, my goals, and getting ahead and trying to live it up in New York City.

As bad as this sounds, I almost didn't go to the wedding. Cynthia's wedding fell on Halloween weekend and my social calendar was full. If I went, I'd be missing some of the most extravagant parties of the year. (Remember, at that time, it had been years since I had last saw either of my sisters.) But a combination of parental pressure, curiosity to see the new baby, and a date backing out culminated in me going after all. (That and if I hurried back, I could still go out and celebrate in the City Halloween Night!)

Two unexpected things happened. Firstly, I fell in love. Seeing Azalea melted my heart. She was so little and fragile and cute. I was afraid to hold her. Instead I sat by her crib and stared at her little smiling face. The second thing that happened was that I gained a brother. 18 years ago now, my brother Dwayne left us and hasn't returned. We don't know where he is. We don't know if he's alive or dead. We don't know anything about what happened to him. When he left, a void opened up - an empty space I don't think will ever really be filled, but for the first time in a long time, it came close. Greg became like the brother I lost so many years ago.

Today is the anniversary of me discovering something more important than just me on my own: My Family.

14 comments:

Jobee said...

Andrew Thornton, that is truly a profound post. My arms reach, from over the pond to give you a big British hug and say "I think you should celebrate the occasion with cake....." lol

2 If By Sea said...

Very moving post, Andrew! I myself have an older sister who walked away from her family and her 3 children 12 years ago & we have not seen her since. Kudos to your accomplishments and to the progress you have made in reconnecting with your siblings. Be blessed!

Andrew Thornton said...

Thanks Jobee! The only question now is: What kind of cake?

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Cristi. Kudos to you too and your many accomplishments. I think each of us has someone in our life who walks away. Whether it's a brother, a sister, a mother, a father, a lover, a friend... I feel as though it's one of those universal experiences that almost everyone shares on some level. It's sad that it has to happen, but I guess there's comfort in knowing that it's just another part of life.

Janet said...

Without meaning to sound over the top I have to say Andrew that youre really a very Special man! The depth you write with...you inspire us all. I will say no more but that you are truly a gift!
Jan x
What are you doing tonite for Halloween? Me handing out candies for the lads and lassies!

Sheila said...

That's a really nice post. I miss you guys! (and your carrot cake.) Hug and kiss baby one for me!

norma said...

Andrew,
You are wise beyond your years. Thanks for sharing something so personal. I am glad that you have reconnected with your family because it sounds as though you have a very special and loving family.

Have a SPOOKTACULAR halloween. No doubt Azalea will look cute in her costume.

Jobee said...

Why Mr Thornton - without hesitation I declare Sachertorte with some good quality vanilla icecream as the cake of celebration!!!

lorrwill said...

When I look at the pictures of Azalea that you post I can easily see how that beautiful little spirit of light could cause a major heart meltdown.

You are very, very fortunate to have the healthy family ties that you do. From someone much older than you are who never had this, thank you for this lovely glimpse of the other side.

Carter said...

Andrew, you gave me chills. What a beautiful, honest, post. I love your writing style, and your portrayal of life.
And how nice to experience the love of family; it's the best feeling in the world!!

Hope you guys had a fun Halloween!
Hugs-
Carter

sweet fine day said...

Thank you for that post. Life can be funny sometimes, and I can only imagine how beautiful it was to visit the gardens at this special date, full of memories and celebration.

jeweledrabbit said...

It's funny how sometimes what appears to be an insignificant event--in this case your date cancelling out on you at the last minute--can be the catalyst that turns our lives around.

paula best said...

andrew.... what a beautiful and touching post this is. you guys seem so close i guess i thought it was always that way.
what a great magical "anniversary" halloween is!

Andrew Thornton said...

In some mythologies, Halloween marked the time of things that die. Whether it's an honored consort or the final harvest, Halloween marked an ending. I think it's apt that it should be such an anniversary and mile-marker for me. It reminds me of one thing ending, so that another can begin.

Thanks everyone for your very kind words and for being so supportive. It was one of the more difficult posts for me to write. Sharing such personal histories isn't an easy task for me.

Anyway, thanks again.