Sunday, November 4, 2007
This morning I hosted a brunch for my family.
I wrote about them several weeks ago after my cousin Richards passing. It seems they found my blog and we all found the time to keep a promise to find a way to be together more often.
We are all so different as adults than we were as children. I can see bits and pieces that stir up memory but I am getting to know them all over again as grown-ups with new lives and new families.
I could have never guessed how we would all turn out. We are all good people. We are kind, strong, and loving, this is what is really connecting us, it is what always has.
My cousin Lisa is the the oldest, the funniest and the wisest. She had a job before we all did, kissed a boy, drove a car (her dads old station wagon) and had sex... I needed her to let me in on the mystery of it all. I was not the only one who was sure that I would forever weigh 87 pounds be breast-less, funny looking, and dorky. If she didn't fill me in I would never know. I would be destined to die a bony virgin never knowing what a blow-job was.
She picked me up once to take me to her house to spend the weekend. I loved it there with all her sisters. Her mom and dad worked weird hours and we were always sneaking off and getting into some kind of trouble. When Lisa would go to work we would pick the lock on her trunk and steal her cute tops and make-up. We use to show up at the mall where she worked and she would give us free cookies. Then we would go to Farrell's to dine and dash.
She was always nice, even when she was pissed. It was impossible not to like her, she was so positive, she knew how to take a crappy story and make it shine. She could also bullshit the pants off her parents and get us out of trouble.
I miss those summers learning how to use a tampon, how to put on eyeliner, and making midnight runs to Jack-in-the-box.
I miss watching all my cousins get ready to go out to the Disco in blue eye-shadow, wedgie heels and wrap around skirts. I was too young to go but they always promised me they would sneak me in someday. By the time I went through puberty and could pass for sixteen Disco was a bad word.
My Aunt was here today. She has changed so much over the years but she is still herself, the best parts of herself. She is a beautiful person with. She has lived many lives. I love it that she is so loved.
My cousins Rose and Carol are women now. They have grown-up children and real jobs. They are maternal, good, hard working and value family. We grew up scrappy little kids with runny noses, bare feet, and hair in those damn marbles on a rubber band. We slept all squished in the same bed skinny legs all tangled. We played together and went to the same schools sometimes. We also shared childhoods that could seem a little scary to most people.
I feel like they know me. They know the real me. We have scars in the same places. We survive.
I loved being in my sun room with these women and feeling the energy that is created by the strength of real women who live real lives, all different but all the the same.
Right now we are all trying to move through loss. I have lost my daughter, my cousins a brother and my aunt a son. This is the hardest part of life, knowing that it doesn't last forever and being here while the ones we love most, leave first.
I want to find comfort in the fact that we will be welcomed home by them, that they will be the first people we see when it is our turn, but somehow it isn't really a comfort at all and it seems so far away.
We have to stay here and keep living these lives with big holes in them. We have to pretend it is possible. We have to learn to forget without forgetting. We have to learn to love shadows where there once was a warm person who could make us smile. We have to learn to sit down at a table that has an extra chair.
We are enduring.
I am thankful tonight for family the way we can go our separate ways and find our way back again. I am thankful for a kind of love that is soft and forgiving and never fades completely away.
I am tired. So tired. Tonight I want to dream about being a kid again and riding on the handlebars of Richards bike, sitting in the back of uncle Wayne's wagon eating a triple scoop, playing Barbies with Rose and Carol, learning to do the hustle with Lisa, Tammy and Bridget, falling asleep next to Aunt Marina in the car.
Goodnight wonderful family.