We gathered, six siblings and spouses, for a birthday celebrating 70 years for one of us.
It seems an impossibly long time from playing in our backyard to now, but here it is. The blink of an eye. 70 years. All the comedies and tragedies of roiling through life together and apart.
Each of us, our own journey strung out behind, each of us with umbilical cords tied to children and grandchildren, in-laws and outlaws, the web of connections spanning the country, but here we are, coffee in hand reliving memories, filling in blanks, spinning new fables, embellishing old ones, all of us sitting around the table at our youngest sister’s home, youngest at 57.
More laughter by far than tears, yet we all hold inside the weight of these years, the losses and loose ends, the lists to do undone. But for this time it is only the warmth of the love we share grown even stronger against the cold of the late spring blizzard outside.
We are lucky, we six.
We hold beliefs that are similar and dissonant, the contradictions of strong, smart people who follow their own hearts. Yet in each individual heart there is the beat of family and caring, which has for 70 years and counting provided the wellspring to refresh us each when we’ve been broken.
In a conversational aside midst the swirl of conversations spinning round, the youngest of us, Sherri, said through it all she always knew we had her back. Tears in her eyes, and mine, there it was.
And what a difference that makes in a world where it is easy to become lost and broken.