Saturday, July 17, 2010

Musings on a hot summer day........

We just returned from a trip to the West Coast, which was a mixture of sadness and happiness... Sadness because en route we got a call that Roger's sister had been transferred from a hospital on the Central Coast to UCLA Medical Center and a family member would have to stay in the room at all times because she was continually trying to pull out all the tubes, etc.  When we arrived it would be his turn to relieve his sister "on duty".  After 2 days, that sister and I went North to attend the family reunion.....the original reason for the trip.  It did seem strange that I (the 'girlfriend') was going but the family member was not....however, I've always been somewhat of a free-spirit and had met several of them 2 years prior when they came to Oklahoma. Two days later I went home with another sister to await Roger and return home.

However, while at the reunion, I had my own tiny family reunion.  A cousin that I hadn't seen in 23 years lived in the town where Roger's family reunion was held and he came over for a couple of hours, then we had breakfast the next morning.  It was a wonderful reunion!  We're only 10 days apart in age and at our current tender age,  found we really enjoyed each others company..... ...albeit brief.  We vowed not to lose touch again and get together in the not too distant future.
When I returned home, I had an email from a high school classmate I thought I'd share with my readers.....if, indeed, there are any out there.....:)   She was a tall, pretty blond and my last name followed hers alphabetically in our class of 450 or so....effectuating our sitting together at every assembly for 4 years.  I don't hear from her often, but had an e-mail with a sentiment that fit my experiences of the last 10 days......it follows.....

Keeper
Their marriage was good, their dreams focused.. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress; lawn mower in his hand, and dish-towel in hers. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.
 

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more.
 

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more. Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away ...never to return. So...While we have it ....its best we love it ... And care for it .... And fix it when it's broken .... And heal it when it's sick. 

This is true ...For marriage ... And old cars ... And children with bad report cards ... Dogs and cats with bad hips ... And aging parents .... And grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.
 

Some things we keep. Like a best friend who moved away or a classmate we grew up with. There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special ... And so, we keep them close in heart and mind and spirit.  They are like stars....you don't always see them...but you know they are always there!