Amazing what time away can do … and how coming back can undo it all! Four days home… for a funeral! … But still, it was a joyous celebration of life. We just don’t do sad very well in my family. And in my world, FAMILY is writ large. We’re FAMILY, a collection whose affinity for one another isn’t just borne of blood ties, but of heart ties.
I don’t know how or why, but the way the mixed-up grab bag of people whom I call family have the ability to celebrate the good and funny and happy and spiritual in the face of hurt, sadness, anger, confusion about loss is amazing. It makes the sending off of those who’d go before us something remarkable. And, it’s why we find ways to be with each other to celebrate that going when it’s hard to be there, when travel is expensive or long, when “work” doesn’t understand or support our time away, when we’d planned for a beach trip over the weekend and then … this. But, “this” is also the thing that forces us to be together and concentrate our love for just a little while.
For us, at the end of the day, the shit we have to sometimes go through to be together? It makes it that much better when we get to see each other in person, talk to each other face-to-face, lounge around on the couch together, my feet in auntie’s lap, or her head in mine; when my story about why we’re here winds its way down through the living room, out across the kitchen island and over to the sun porch where, in its new telling, it becomes something to spur sister-giggling, not shared tears.
The end of last week and the beginning of this kickstarted me channeling my fighter — to be all about encouraging joy to come in, when joy often acts as a fickle child: running away when I call her to me; only coming up on to my lap, digging in next to my heart, sidling up near my soul when I’d like to be busy doing something else. So, I’ve taken small steps: packed my gym clothes for tomorrow, planned a good breakfast and lunch, and pumped myself up to look Russell Jenkins in his good eye at the end of the day tomorrow when he’s back from the kennel so I can have a good scriggle with that robot dog before bed.
But the final spark that lit my bonfire tonight was watching the inaugural speech online just now. I was traveling this morning, so missed it in real time, but the message doesn’t, I think, require a lot of context. It’s just this: That all things ARE indeed possible. All things. My things and yours, too, because, we all share the same sun, the same moon, the same wind, the same earth, the same day, everyday, when we can decide how that day’s going to play out. I’ll root for you in your day, and you don’t have to root for me in mine, but I hope you will.