Pardon me for using this blog as a personal thank you note to my older sister, Jennifer. Recently, I visited Norman, Okla., where my sister hosted me, my younger sister, Rebecca (Becky to almost everybody except those people she tries to impress, which is almost everybody), and my 82-year-old mother, Earlene. We spent four days together catching up, acting like sisters, daughters, mothers; laughing (sometimes to the point where we had to change our pants).
It was an impromptu visit that worked out perfectly. My mom was going to Oklahoma to visit Jennifer and attend her annual cousins’ reunion, and I decided to join them. Then Becky decided to join us. Jennifer was thrilled because it meant more people would be in the car for the three-hour drive (turned four after we got lost and made 37 stops) to the reunion on a ranch somewhere near Ponca City or Pawhuska, I’m not exactly sure.
I am lucky, I know. I come from a family of five siblings (I also have two older brothers who are delightful despite the fact that they vote differently than I do). My mother and father are alive and mobile. The family has had no major calamities to speak of. No one on our side has died tragically or even been maimed (Superstitiously, I am knocking on wood as I write this). No one has gone to prison, been hooked on drugs (my mother, a teetotaler, has only gone so far as licking the cap of a bottle of alcohol to see what it tasted like, pronouncing it “horrible.”) Sure we’ve had a few divorces, some broken bones, cancer experiences, and loss of elderly family members. But nothing that tallies in the tragic column.
I often wonder why I am so lucky (thanking God all the while).
So thank you Jennifer for allowing us to gather at your house, drink your coffee and eat your food. Thanks to you and Steve for being patient as a parade of relatives stopped by to get re-acquainted. (This was the doing of my extremely extroverted mother who called everybody from Oklahoma in her contact list and invited them over.) I knock on wood again, hoping for another gathering like this. But if I never get it, I certainly have wonderful memories of time spent with my family.
What family memories did you create this summer?
Terri Lackey is managing editor of Gather magazine. In the photo (l-r by age!) is Earlene, Jennifer, Terri, Becky.