Whoa, what a weekend.
Wait a minute, it's Monday, right? Well, maybe I began my weekend on Thursday and stretched it half-way through today. But since that's just about the only perk of my unemployed life, I might as well take full advantage of it.
Sisters LD (the Dump), RE and I spent three lovely days at our family's place on Whidbey Island. We wandered the acreage, sat in the sun, poured over old photographs, replayed childhood memories both happy and not-so-happy and generally do what sisters (at least we three) do best--solve the problems of the world (or at least those nearest our hearts). We answered some really tough questions like, "name your most memorable time peeing outside," and "what childhood meal do you miss--and feel guilty about missing?" (My answer was 'creamed tuna on toast', by the way. Wow, I can't believe I just admitted that in blogger public). Then we moved on to the real questions like, "what one thing about your spouse that has been (or was) hardest for you to live with?" And "What is the thing you do that you know is wrong but you also know you'll probably always struggle with?"
We talked as we drove, as we walked, as we ate, and practically as we slept. Come to think of it, LD has always been able to talk while she sleeps. Fortunately RE and I were too tired to hear her this weekend.
Needless to say, it made for a very long Sunday. We hurried back across the ferry in time for an authentic (and caloric) tea with E and our aunt before taking LD to her plane, then RE and I spent the rest of the day with that aunt and my daughters in Seattle.
And while we were having having dinner, while I was still in the glow of the weekend, feeling replete from our time together, Beve called, and I was plunged back into life with the elders. By the time I got home at noon today, the weekend felt like a foggy dream. Doctors' appointments, missed rides, missing orders, barking orders, and then some. There was a moment this evening when I was standing alone in the elders' apartment when the truth of who I am to them came crashing through the walls of my peace. Right there in bold print beside their front door...No, I will not say more.
Because the thing is, it isn't about who I am to them. Caring for others is never about that. Being with my sisters is about that. That's the gift of them--that we are committed to each other (despite some rather significant differences) simply because we are who we are. We share history and genetics and then some. But most of those I care for I cannot say such things about. We don't only care and love and minister to those who share our name and genetics and history. How absurd that would be, right?
I was reminded of the robbers who beat up the man and left him in the ditch, and the really important leaders of his own house--his own faith--who crossed to the other side of the road to avoid having to come in contact with him. The only one who stopped was a person entirely unrelated to him--in faith and in community--but wholly related in the truest sense: in charity and the loving-kindness that only God can bring. Yes, the Good Samaritan. Living and doing just what God intends each of His servants to do: give and serve and love and care. There's a verse in Luke that runs through my mind at such moments as this: "So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty." (Luke 17:10)
We do what we are asked to do. And then some. And are grateful for the privilege because it is God who does the asking. No matter what that means.
And thank Him for those who give us respite. Like my sisters: I love you both.