I agreed to watch my nieces so that my sister could go on a date. That is what sisters are for. I didn’t want to sit in the house looking at kids do nothing, so I called my nephews mom and made a play date. Play isn’t really the right word. My nieces and nephews age ranges from 5 – 15 so some played outside, some chilled in the house and talked, others played on the Wii.
The cool thing is that I watched them relate to each other and there is a true camaraderie between them. I am glad about that. I am also glad that though my nieces and nephews live in different cities around Michigan, they get along; they interact that relate. I also enjoy watching my nieces and nephews with my parents too. This is something I did not get a real chance to do since most of my cousins and grandparents lived in Alabama, New York and Illinois. Family is clearly important. Family, as crazy as they make us, also make us who we are. The family members that are here and the ones that have passed.
I know that when we think about our dead relatives, it is not always the brightest or joyous thoughts we have. We missed them. But this day, I thought about some of my family that passed on. My favorite Uncle Leonard (my dad’s brother) and Uncle Louis (my aunt’s husband), my Aunt Barbara Ann, my grandmothers and grandfathers. I thought about my music teacher (he was like a father to me) and all the ancestors I know existed because I exist. Thinking about them made me as happy as I was watching my nieces and nephews two days before. I would like to think that it is true that sometimes those who have passed on still visit us and guide us and love us in this life; making things a little more lovely in a world that can be tough. That is a happy though for me. For a moment, I smiled thinking, how wonderful it would be to see all of those lovely faces again. How excellent to meet my mother’s father. He had passed before I was born. How great it would be to hear my uncle’s laugh or one of his stories. And, for that moment, it seemed, that seeing these people was as easy to as it was for my nieces and nephews. Maybe it is.
Why did my thoughts go from my living relatives to the dead? I think it surprised me that I feel the same for my dead relatives as I do for those that are living. Beyond grief, frustration, misunderstanding and all the other junk, there is this love. Our state of being doesn’t really change love and realizing that was a moment of clarity for me. And now, I share it with you.