E drove up this afternoon so she could drive me east across the mountains in the morning. I'm off for my 'sisters' weekend with ... you guessed it, my sisters, while she heads out to the farm to hang with her girl cousins. We're both looking forward to the kind of conversation on can do only with women one knows as intimately as we know these women we call family.
Interestingly, these weekends I share with my sisters only began after our mother was too incapacitated to be a part of them. We went on a couple of trips with her prior to them, but the actual setting aside time just for us came as a result of her death as much as anything. For one thing, we no longer have to worry about the impact such a weekend might have on her--on uninvited her, I should say. It would cut her to the marrow of her very easily-cut bones. For another thing, I think we've taken it upon ourselves to be intentional about remaining close, being family without the natural bridges parents or family homes might be. It would be easy enough to slip away from each other, to drift off into our own spheres. After all, we are very, very different women. Our life-views, our jobs, our marriages and relationships bear very little similiarity to each other's. Still, we feel strongly connected enough, deeply committed enough, that we not only stay in touch, but have pulled the whole unwieldy mess in with us.
Thank God. Families are often--Always!?--unwieldy messes. Aren't they? This man's off the rails in behavior, that one drinks more than she should. This one hasn't been attentive as he should have (in our own estimations, of course) or is too controlling or smothering. God put us in families and they're often messes. Because families are made of people and people are made of messes. We all are and each are and...
Well, that's the way of it.
Let's just take your mess and my mess and put them together and see what comes. That's what my parents did when they married all those years ago before they had the faintest idea what they were doing. What all young people do when they say those vows before God and everyone. When they decided to build this family that they believed would last beyond till death did them part. They looked at each other, and didn't know back then that God was watching more closely, watching and knowing that their plan was good and that the unwieldy mess they'd be creating He had His fingerprints on.
God made my family. For better and sometimes worse. I'm the richer for them, the poorer without them. Surely in my sickness, always they're my health. Yes, till death part us. Family.
PS. I'm not taking my computer this time (oh the horror, oh the joy of being unplugged for a few days!!!), so see you Sunday night!