I’m going to make this quick because I am exhausted. Tired. Whipped. Overwhelmed.
Why? Because my mother, who has not intentionally spoken to me but once in the past thirty years – and that was twenty-six years ago – called last week. She said before she crossed the river, she wanted me to know where she had gone and what happened to her… “When can be get together?”
I live 2500-ish miles west of my hometown, for, as far as I am concerned, very good reason.
However, since I believe in all that Jesus – Forgiveness Thing, I loaded up the car with two dogs, Molly and Freckles, a couple different bags of clothing – possible funeral; hiking; everyday – some food, and what little money I had if I postponed paying a few bills.
I did not bring the Christmas cards and presents I forgot to post in the midst of the death of Hannah and Maeda.
I did not bring certainty or confidence, either.
After all, this is my mother we’re talking about.
The short version?
I met with her and my step-dad first.
The next visit included my sister, her husband, two of their children, one of their grandchildren; the three daughters of my deceased niece; and the eldest son of my deceased little brother.
I had seen my sister three years ago at my aunt’s funeral – the first time we have spoken in over thirty years.
I had met her husband there.
I had also met one of her granddaughters.
The son of my little brother I haven’t seen in twenty-nine years.
There is still one more nephew I have never met.
I have a family. Not just two cousins (whom I love and appreciate dearly) and a dotty ninety-two-year-old aunt. (Please don’t tell her I called her ‘dotty’. Actually, she is amazing for her age, but there are times ….). I have parents again – no matter how brief this relationship might be. I have a sister, nieces, grand-nieces, and a nephew or two.
I have a family.
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
Who needs Hallmark Hall of Fame?