A wonderful thing happened last week. Our family got together, with one exception. Sam flew in from his first semester at University of Vermont. Dan drove up the two hours from Eugene and brought his girlfriend. Lisa was here. My sister Laura drove in two hours from where she lives on the coast. Only my sister Susan and her husband Jim were not with us but back home in Connecticut. Maybe next year.
But that’s not the best part.
The most wonderful thing was all the love and positive energy that was here with us.
Too many times family gatherings can be full of pain. As a child I watched my mother’s extended family behave as if everyone got along, only to have the realities of their relationships become more overt as alcohol consumption increased. Cousins who I didn’t know well acted out their parents’ disdain for my mom and remained people I never wanted to know well.
I tried to raise my kids to be supportive of each other. To love one another. To offer helpful and healthy suggestions and then back off if they note someone needs a nudge in another direction, keeping the process as positive as possible.
Watching them this past week has been a joy. I think it took.