Saturday, August 06, 2005

Summer is for Family Reunions

Steve came from Hungary to the US when he was 10 years old. Miriam emigrated from England to Canada at the age of 17. Soon after her arrival in Canada, she came to America. Her sister, Rose, remained in Canada raising her family in Calgary.

My family began shortly after WWI, Steve and Miriam were set up on a blind date. He walked to her home after work on a Friday evening. Miriam recalled he was very handsome in his blue suit. She had no memory of what she wore except "a dress". The future bride and groom walked to a neighborhood restaurant. The waitress seated them and in a few minutes took their order. Steve had the roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, and peas. Miriam had no memory of what she had ordered.

Very soon after the meals were placed in front of the couple, Steve's plate slid off the table onto his lap. Miriam was horrified, fully expecting a torrent of anger. But, Steve calmly picked up the plate, placed it on the table. With the help of the waitress, cleaned up the mess as best he could. Miriam said it was at that moment she knew she would marry this man. My grand parents have both passed on; their legacy, their story lives on.

In a week, I will journey back to my home turf for a family reunion. Many people, including some in my own clan, look upon family reunions with trepidation; others as an opportunity to be reminded why they don't like certain relations; and still others, become more convinced than ever that they were adopted and can't possibly swim in the same gene pool because some are obviously in the shallow end.

Winter where I grew up

I do not share these views. I look forward to visiting with the people who, at various times, have shown an unconditional love and acceptance that is not possible outside of ones family. At other times, those same people have exhibited a tough love meant to force the acceptance of cold, hard reality. Most family, I do not see or hear from for many years at a time.

To come together with people who share many esoteric traits is a wondrous thing. Speech patterns, inflection, words chosen, and cadence; the same humor that only the Twilight Zone can explain; a walking stride, a smile, a laugh; the same remark with the same words said simultaneously by relations who live thousands of miles apart is precious beyond understanding.

We are not identical, only the same. In my family, we have members who are adopted and sometimes I'd swear they are more like their adoptive families than those born into it; many are made, few are chosen. I have straight and gay relations; pacifist relations (at times, aggressively so); relations who have made the military or law enforcement a career. I have relations who have experienced both sides of the law. There is a preacher and the insanely devout, agnostics, new age wackos, and me - an atheist. There are high tech nerds and neo-Luddites. But, we are family and all are welcome and all are loved.

Summer where I grew up

My family has spread across the United States from east to west, north to south, stretching out to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and Chile. One clan member has family ties to this land that go back maybe 40,000 years. In the familial diaspora, we have experienced various levels of financial, vocational, and marital success. At the end of the day, we all have a place at the table and will not be turned away. The porchlight is always on and the bed covers are turned down.





The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

6 comments:

dcat said...

Indigo,

I swear this is all a huge mistake! They made a horrible mistake and I am on the wrong planet!

You are a damn good writer and story teller! Loved it Indigo! Thank you :)

Alecia said...

You've written a window, clear glass, outlined in a solid frame, and have let others into your life in a way that's graceful and comforting. Thank you.

My favorite line - "We are not identical, only the same." - Maybe because I can relate that to me and my three sisters exactly.

I told you it was fate.

A

YellowRose said...

Wonderful writing once again! Thank you for sharing a part of your family with us.

Snake (a Cambridge kind of guy) said...

I like the pictures of your home.

Leap Frog said...

What a beautifully written story, thanks Indigo Red.

the eighth child said...

Thank you Indigo Red!
You have given me some more memories to MY past. Hide and seek, Marko Polo, blackberry picking with my family to name a few. And yes No one IS quite idential, but MOST of us ARE the same even when we deny it. It is simply amazing how different we all are,YET we share one bond.. the same parents. I love my families differences and have learned to except most.