I sat on the pier of a Michigan lake cabin thatmy family rented for a 7 day reunion, thinking, and feeling the chemistry of being with my brothers and sisters again, now grown, parentless and empty nesters. There were 7 of us. Jeff, and his wife Sylvia, came from Phoenix. It had been 5 years since I had seen them. My sister, Ruth, and her husband Tom, came from Valparaiso, and Larry, my brother, with his wife Vickie, drove up from Muncie.
We came together in child-like remembrance. We laughed, played games, ate ice cream, teased and had time for natural one on ones. I felt love.
The "spouses" put up with our inside jokes, as they learned our ways. We tried to stay away from the old nick-names. They were good sports. They heard the banter. It was evident that we all got our father's love for words and turning them into something funny. They saw the love and service that had been passed down from my mother.
The old chemistry between us was still there, yet there is an added element. There was freedom and wisdom that had come with age, acceptance of each stage of life, gratitude, and patience. There were memories. Kids had grown up and there are grandkids....and stories.
Blow ups? Misunderstanding? That would be normal living together for a week. The blow ups didn't come. A few misunderstandings....little ones that needed to be talked through. There was growth in knowing personalities, weaknesses and strengths, and opinions. I felt love. Spouses brought added variety. Sylvia added grace and quiet wisdom. Vickie was good natured and also served selflessly. Tom added life wisdom that he was willing to share, and also witty responses.
Going back to my roots was comforting. I was blessed to be with those who revere God and desire to express love and forgiveness. As we went back to our home communities may the love continue as we live in our own communities far and wide.