Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Family Trees

Let me just tell you what Small Fry is doing as we speak... She is dressed in a pink princess costume, bouncing a Barbie basketball in the marble foyer and saying (loudly) "Praise the Lord, I'm going to meet Beanie B. Jones!!!" (AKA Junie B. Jones) She's a vision in pink chiffon, let me tell you. She has kept us laughing these days, as we have been saddened by the recent loss of a family member. You know what they say: We never get together like this, except for weddings and funerals? Wish I had been at a wedding. But it was truly touching to see so many family members gathered in one place, and my girls got to meet some lovely people for the first time. They got to hold their four-month-old cousin, with the beautiful red hair. They got to play with cousins Shelby and Cranky (Small Fry-speak for Frankie), whom they have not stopped talking about since. They "searched for clues" in the Selection Room. (Can you guess what that is? I didn't, until it was too late. So much for protecting them from life's harsh realities.) But the larger point is that they were part of something big, huge even. Two newly formed leaves on a family tree with many, many branches - some broken, some grafted on to the trunk, all going in different directions. And what a legacy to the one who has gone ahead that all those branches were gathered for a few days under the same roof. Unified in purpose. At peace with each other. Loving each other. Comforted by the promise of seeing their loved one again. As we circled and held hands in prayer before the service, I was overwhelmed with the thought that Life goes on. Love goes on. And maybe the most important mark you can leave on this world is to be a part of that cycle, nurturing the love part and loving the life part. Praise the Lord indeed.

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