My family got up before the crack of dawn and drove Naoto to the airport for his long trip back to Rochester.

It was a strange way to spend the beginning of a new year…in the soft quiet of dawn, on grey, blurry streets empty of souls but for other hardy souls driving for some necessity like us.

And as my mother also left for Hawaii on that same morning, I felt a bit untethered as I drove home from the airport, as if there was barely anything holding us to this place.

The girls and I returned to our house and slept a little, and then woke up to a series of phone calls, from Naoto, from my brother, from my stepmother, from a friend, from my sister-in-law….

….and I was reminded that while a place may not tether me, wherever I am, I am held together by my family.

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