Friday, August 16, 2019

A Family Day

Auntie M started it off.

She's organized a family gathering for her siblings next week; she wanted to discuss the details with her brother.  Their older brother is getting older and there are concerns for his safety.  He's a set-in-his-ways bachelor, firmly ensconced in the corner apartment he took when the ancestral manse was sold.

There was laughter and there was listening and then TBG hung up the phone with a sigh.  "We're not getting any younger, are we?"

My sister's middle child was the filling in the Oreo.  After being featured in the New York Times, she's ready to turn her clothing line into a Real Business.  There was much conversation about valuation and inventory and percentages between the burgeoning entrepreneur and her uncle-by-marriage.  Her aunt just sat there and smiled.

The kid was wearing one of her creations.... or, to be precise, a creation-to-be.  How could I tell?  The bodice was held together with evenly spaced straight pins.   As she talked numbers, I concentrated on her grandmother and her great grandmothers and her grandfather and her great grandfather and all the years of sewing that led to this conversation between an Episcopal boy from the Midwest and an immigrant's offspring with a studio in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn, where her G'ma grew up.  What goes around, comes around  I thought as we finished our FaceTime and I began to make dinner.  The phone rang.  It was My Cousin the Fireman.

We grew up next door to one another.  He's six months younger than I am.  Our family lives overlapped until we both got married and I moved away.  Ever since I was perforated, he's been calling three or four times a year, to check in and say Hi.  It's the least likely series of  conversations I ever thought I'd have and I treasure each and every one of them.

In the hospital, he called me a hero.  When I protested that he, who ran into burning buildings, was the hero he interrupted me by yelling I never got shot!!!!!   Over the years we've discussed nothing and everything, with a few relatives thrown into the conversation to liven things up.  He's usually in the car and ends our talks as he goes through a tunnel or enters a parking garage.  I smile for hours after we're done.

I count on my children for frequent family visits.  It's lovely when family further out checks in, too.

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