Reunited And It Feels So Good

Once, when I was young...maybe eight or nine, I got in trouble with my mother for something...I can't remember exactly what, though I feel certain it was....for not cleaning something properly.

Growing up, we kids did most, if not nearly all, of the house cleaning. And with ten kids and my parents; well, it was no small house, no small execute...or to coordinate.

In response to this scolding, I dared utter the words "but I'm not perfect, and ..."

thus found myself in further hot water for 'talking back'...(it was a two-fer), which prompted a counter-offensive from my Mom..."but it's what we all strive for!", 

perfection  that is. 

Martha Stewart, not withstanding, I'm not sure that's true.  Or probably, sometimes it's true and sometimes it's not.  Anyhow...

I had modest expectations of this most recent family reunion in Jasper, IN.  Close to where my parents now live, close to the faces and places and spaces  that make them feel secure and safe.  And that, by extension, make us children feel secure and safe.

So no exotic location, replete with mountains or beaches or museums, was needed to create

the perfect family reunion.  All three days of it.  And I do not say that casually, or smugly, or arrogantly (because, trust me, there have been MANY family-dynamic gatherings that have decidedly NOT been perfect...)

but with gratitude and humility and recognition

of blood ties, and compassion, and individual and collective mutual appreciation for what we all bring to the table

to face old age, mortality, fear, inevitabilities

and to wonder at the interplay of generations and cultures

the value of dignity

the beauty of an old man's sterling blue eyes and

the softening of aging hands,  aging spirits. 

I've been asked if the gathering included aunts and uncles and other relatives, or just us kids with our parents and our immediate families.

Just us, I tell them,  just us.

A large crowd nevertheless.
Loved ones to share (and edit) memories, experiences, heartaches, bad hair-do's.

To insist with each parent, that, indeed, WE were the favorite child.

To relive the pain of a lost mother, a lost brother.

To thank fate, to acknowledge luck 

and perseverance.

Ultimately, to move on, and hopefully, thrive and gain wisdom and understanding.

Yes, three days of tender moments, tear-swelled eyes, 
getting to know one another again.

Three days,

of perfection.

Labels: ,