Our first picture together--looking at the scrapbook
The morning prior to our meeting was uneventful, except for trouble finding the florist. We pulled up in front of L's house after having spotted it first on our advance trip around the block. She lives on a street that felt remarkably familiar for the types of houses, well-manicured esplanade, and positioning in a neighborhood that saw it's zenith in the 1950s. Her house itself feels like the houses that I grew up visiting my relatives and friends in: two story with a front storm porch and a garage around the back accessed by an alley.
My stomach was clenching as I stepped out of the car. Eric gathered up all the things we intended to carry inside and we moved to the front door. Before we had a chance to knock or ring the door bell, there she was, opening the door with tears in the eyes and a giant smile on her face. We hugged for a very long time, the type of hug that says "I've been waiting for this for more time than I could ever express in words". We stepped away from each other and looked at each other, long and deep in the face. Yes, there was the chin that I've always had and the nose that burns in the slightest sun.
We moved inside the house, Eric hugging her and me hugging her again. We smelled something fantastic in the oven; L's sister D was taking a quiche out of the oven. I embraced her as well and she exclaimed, for only the first time that day, a phrase that I would become very familiar with, "oh, Lisa, it is so amazing to finally see you again!" Afterwards, when I would replay the day in my mind, that phrase would really stick out to me. It's strange to remember that they had all met me, they all have memories of me as a newborn, when I have no active memories of ever seeing these people before in my life. For them, it truly was a reunion with someone they had met before, wondered about, worried about, envisioned throughout the years, while for me, it was a first meeting, an introduction, a revelatory excursion into uncharted waters.
With L and her two sisters. Finally a resemblance to someone!