Visits home from California and Arizona usually center on crisis – coming home to help with medical needs or attending a funeral. So, when my sisters visit this time, just to spend time with mom while things are stable, it feels foreign.
It is a rare occasion when her three daughters are together for twenty-four hours, so we plan the day according to our mom’s wishes. My two older sisters and I, my husband and mother begin this Sunday morning going to church together.
During the worship service, before we offer prayers for those in our congregation in need of healing, we stand up and share joys and prayers of praise. I stand and say, “I give thanks that my sisters and I are together, even if it is just for 24 hours, and I give thanks that there is no crisis going on in our family now!”
The rest of this sunny and warm day in Wisconsin we spend taking pictures, relaxing on the deck of my home, sharing memories and making a meal together. I think these simple things we do in life is what I miss the most due to the distance that separates us.
Dinner is marinated grilled pork tenderloin, baked sweet potato fries with Penzey’s spices, and tender-crisp asparagus. I begin to make a caprese salad with the basil from my garden, mozzarella cheese and fresh tomatoes from the farmer’s market, but one of my sisters reminds me that she doesn’t eat tomatoes.
Did I know that or did I just forget?
Once my sisters leave and my routine gets back to normal, I take time to think about all the things I might have forgotten about them, or maybe don’t even know. All of us miss out on private “girl talks,” preparation of holiday meals, going to movies or social events, and just hanging out with our extended families.
The three of us have spent most of our lifetimes living apart, our memories of each other so limited, perceptions possibly inaccurate.
I try not to compare, but many of my friends’ families get together during the year even though they live in different states. They save the money needed for tickets, and arrange for time off from work, they make it a priority for their lives.
What would it be like to deepen our understanding of each other and discover new things?
What would it be like to always cook Sunday dinner with one another? Being very different people, would our differences create conflict or meld together to strengthen all of us?
If we lived close by, would we become catty and take our time together for granted like so many other families who aren’t separated by distance?
I don’t have any of these answers, but I know one thing for sure – I would love to try!