Yesterday, I was reminded of what a wonderful and powerful gift we've been given, through the bonds of family. Ours came together to celebrate the life of one of the kindest, most loving people I’ve ever met, my cousin Dorothy. Some of us hadn’t seen each other in years, but it didn’t matter. There was a loss, there was a need, there was family. And even on a sad day, there was laughter. Long-separated cousins who were college buddies back in the day were right back to their old shenanigans before the day was over. My mother and our cousin Jane had a reunion in the church kitchen.
It’s part whistling in the dark, really—all the so good to see you’s and how have y’all been’s—I think it’s our way of shielding ourselves from what’s coming—a temporary goodbye. But there’s also genuine joy at being reunited, even under painful circumstances, and gratitude for the safe harbor of family, no matter what.
A work project has me going through old family photos, which becomes a more emotional experience, the older you get. It’s like replaying a movie that you’ve already seen—looking at a still frame, knowing what comes next. We’re all on such a mysterious journey that we can’t see unfolding in the moment. It’s only when we look back that the road comes into focus—and we see, standing by the roadside, all the very special people who were put in our path to help us and bless us along the way.