It has been a difficult sad year for my me and my sister Paula and my brothers Jim and John...it seemed as though all that we were doing was dealing with my parents...and then both of them died within months of each other. My sister Paula is the only one of us who still lives in the town that we grew up in...her husband is a dentist, some of the same friends that they went to kindergarten with are still in their circle of friends. My parents were within blocks of her house and were always eager to babysit for her, bring her things from their garden or take her kids for her at any time. The town has its own park and playgrounds and swimming pool and baseball fields and football fields and even an ice skating rink in the winter. The best part of living there was that we could walk, run or ride our bikes everywhere...we could meet our friends at the park or pool in the summer...skate or sled in the winter. People still come home for football games and Homecoming in the Fall. At this time my husband and I are living about 7 hours from the little town that I grew up in and my parents are no longer here. So...my sister came to visit...she drove herself and arrived yesterday. We have fun together...but it is so different now without our mom...I don't think that it is possible to know how tied you are to your family until the family unit changes...even though we are grown...it still seems as though we are missing something. We talk about our parents, we try to replicate certain foods that my mom made but...something is always still missing. I am beginning to think that something will always be missing for all the rest of our lives. We will celebrate and visit each other and toast our parents...we will talk about our dad and our mom...but we will always feel their absence.