On Saturday, Zion, Jacoba, Zekijah and I will be travelling to a family reunion for Marisa’s extended family.

When I started dating Marisa, I had to carve my space into Her family.

When Marisa and I were married, I had to again figure out what place I had in the VanderVeen family.

And now that Marisa has died, I have to redefine my role.

And the fact is, that is difficult.  It is difficult to know what my place is in terms of birthdays, Christmas, reunions, and Sunday afternoon visits.  It is easy to say to just go to all the events.  It is easy to say, just go with the feel or flow. 

Frankly, being with Marisa’s family is not easy.  I should rephrase that. 

Being with Marisa’s family without Marisa is not easy.

Don’t get me wrong here, Marisa’s family are wonderful people but is difficult because each time it is another shocking reminder that Marisa isn’t here.  It is difficult because Marisa’s wisdom is missed.  It is difficult because sometimes we just don’t know what to say. 

So on Saturday we will go.  We will go to see the family.  We will shake hands and hug.  The blog readers, if brave, will kiss me.  We will reunite with uncles and aunts.  And I, most likely we, will grieve.

But we will go.  We will pack in the van, drive a couple of hours and do our best.  And at the end of it, by doing it, we will honour Marisa.