Finding joy in family

After my children finished destroying the planet (AKA the basement), we boarded an airplane to travel east. It was early afternoon and quite warm in the Pacific Northwest. Each boy carried a backpack filled their favorite things…tiny plastic knights, books, soft blue elephants, and Spiderman figures.

Arriving at the hotel at 3 am was less than ideal, but the time difference was in our favor. We all slept in and woke in good spirits.

The skies were powder blue and the day was end of summer warm. I wore high heels for the first time in ages. We hushed the boys a dozen times as a blend of Catholic-Hindu ritual revealed the commitment made between two beautiful people.

The bride was stunning.

We drank and danced and talked and laughed. Where not too long ago it took great effort to find joy, during this special evening finding joy felt effortless.

Ever mindful of the missing, I noted a few aunts, uncles and cousins were not present. Nor was my sister.

On the way to the ceremony I was telling my oldest son about the various family members he would meet. Among them, I described one of my aunts who is loving and colorful and fun.

Is she dead? he asked.

No, sweetie, she’s not dead. All of the aunts at the wedding will be quite alive and well.

Ok well all of them will be alive except Aunt Liz who is dead but her spirit is alive in our hearts so she can come to the wedding and just be invisible.

I agreed with him.

Several hours later I was drinking a beer at 2:30 am (?). What was I thinking? I’m not in college anymore. The next day I forced myself to run a couple miles at mid-day.

The hangover was worth it, but as we move on to the next stage of our trip, I’m ready to detox. Conveniently, my in-laws don’t drink. I’m looking forward to watching my boys get to know my husband’s side of the family.

I’m grateful to be a part of such a large and lovely clan. From Afghanistan to southern Spain to Virginia, Georgia, Michigan, Illinois, Oregon, Washington, and California… my family represents.

Whatever your faith, I know each of us is deeply loved and has an important role to play in this lifetime. Each of us may be but a spark among millions who walk the Earth for a temporal journey, but our sparks are bright and true.

My grandfather is 93 years old, and he isn’t letting his spark go out yet. Repeatedly he inquired, Are these your boys? What are their names? He smiled as they climbed about him and tried to steal his cane. Mid-reception, his brother took him for a twirl on the dance floor.

Even from a wheelchair, my grandfather rocks.

He is the patriarch of many children, grands and greats. The littlest was born a month or so ago, and the eldest, well, beyond my grandfather they include our ancestors, and their age is infinite.

Blessings, my family, and to the newlyweds, may much love fill each day.

One thought on “Finding joy in family

  1. beckybreitmaier says:

    Love this one…got tears in my eyes for Aunt Liz. I enjoy your blogs always.

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