Family gatherings usually fill me with a tantalizing suspense. One hopes that meeting and greeting ones siblings will result in a pleasurable experience. Sometimes years pass before a family group can get together to share stories of hope and/or disappointment. With births and deaths, family dynamics tend to shift and change over the years. In 21st Century USA divorce and distance impact on gatherings.
This Thanksgiving, one sister, her husband, one brother and a friend and myself gathered on my sister’s small farm in the country-side of western Maryland. The weather was glorious, the food delicious and the conversation stimulating – a perfect setting for some real family bonding. This was the third Thanksgiving without the presence of our Mother. Well, she was not there in body; but, her spirit hovered.
During a few minutes after dinner, while my sister and I sat alone sipping tea at the detritis strewn table, my sister shared a delightful moment. She said that her husband took delight in hearing my sister and her Mother in conversation. My brother-in-law only says what he means. And, so, I had a delightful moment. The spirit of Mother joined my sister and I at the table. I double delighted in the fact that my brother-in-law had the courage to share such a personal experience. May we all have the courage to share intimate, delightful experiences with the human family.