There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays
The best thing about working for Get On The Bus is to experience the sheer joy of the family reunions. The families come from many different walks of life. Some see each other regularly and most only but once a year. The thing they all have in common is that they enjoy the atmosphere of family togetherness that Get On The Bus brings. One adult child at CTF commented last year that Get On The Bus is the only time each year that the whole family can come together (on normal visiting days there is a maximum amount of visitors) and that they can do so in a comfortable environment where they feel honored, not shunned. She said that Get On The Bus is their time to create long lasting memories with their father. This not only makes me proud, but makes me reflective.
Having a loved one in prison can be compared to having someone you love very far away from you. There are so many times in California when I just really want to be able to share a slice of pizza with my dad, go shopping with my sister and my mom or just sit by the fire with my aunt and grandmother, but distance makes this impossible. This is why since we moved west, I have began to appreciate the beauty of my family that much more. When we get a chance to all get together, the time is very special and we also create many memories in a short amount of time. I cherish any time we have, much like our Get On The Bus clients.
Last night, we had one of the best dinners that we had in a while. As Italian Americans, we did the feast of Seven Fishes. We had fried shrimp, sword fish, scallops, orange roughy, crab cakes, buccala (dried salted cod fried) and of course homemade pasta with tuna fish. Yummy! Although the food was amazing, it was the company that really struck me. For the first time in a very long time, everyone was there: my mom, dad, sister, Ron (her boyfriend), Joe, me, my aunt, grandma and cousin and we even had our honorary Italian guest Nabilini Riazi! Not only did we share this wonderful meal together, but we got to share the company of everyone around us who we loved. This is family.
As I sit here and reflect on this Christmas Day, I think we will all agree…There is no place like home for the holidays. I hope you and your family are able to experience the same joy today and for many years to come. Once again, thank you all for your support and a very Merry Christmas to all!