The Kindness of Family
It is a wonderful thing when your family accepts you, even if they haven’t really known you before or even met you before. And you accept your family, even if you haven’t known them before or even met them before.
You include them, they include you…even though you are, in so many ways, strangers, because there is a hope implied that, even though you are strangers, there will be a connection, you will expand your circle of friends.
At least my family does.
Why is that? Old caveman memories? Tribal memories? “Us against the world” memories? Being Irish? Don’t know.
But accepting doesn’t mean including…not on the basis of just being family, because once you get to know each other you might not like each other…you might not jive. Including happens when you realize that you are comfortable together…I think. That you can laugh and talk about old times, and begin to want each other in your lives. When that starts to happen, something wonderful starts to happen. Something happens that adds to your life and to theirs.
Family. And it all started because a friend painted the rooms in her house. Ah, but we can’t forget the quilt! The quilt led to…and why did it lead to the meeting? Perhaps we all were looking to expand our families. I was. I think we all were.
My cousins in Cornwall invited me to come up for a weekend to see their boys play hockey, so I said yes! There was a time when I would have been anxious and nervous about going for a visit like this. I have not been that way at all with Maureen, Jim and the boys. Not at all. I hope they weren’t nervous about me coming because I try to be the lowest impacting guest I can possibly be.
I wanted to see Owen and Danny play hockey. I’d never been to a hockey game, knew nothing about it…and only went because they were playing. If they played soccer I’d go to those games…but hockey it is. It’s cold in hockey rinks! But after awhile you don’t care because you get caught up in the action…and are too busy watching to be cold!
I loved being just a cousin, just part of the family. Just “Cousin Sissy”. I loved that BearPuppy accepted me! I loved Bear hugs and Augie letting me walk him.
I loved the feeling of love and warmth in Jim and Maureen’s home.
I loved that it is a home and not a house…that it was as it was and not perfect, because it is a home that is well lived in, happily so.
I loved all of us eating together that last night and the boys gathered around their father as they looked at pictures of him at their age.
I loved how they all kidded each other, and how proud the boys were of their father, how they all have followed him onto the ice.
I loved that Owen put the one picture of his father on Facebook…”The Man, The Myth, The Legend.
I loved that Jim has these boys and Maureen around him.
I loved Owen teasing me about the family tree paper in the kitchen.
I love how Owen thinks..how he lives just a bit inside himself…how he watches and knows what is going on.
I loved Jimmy not really wanting to have his picture taken with me, but smiling that wonderfully mustached smile as he stood next to me.
I loved Owen not really at all wanting to be bothered with having his picture taken, but coming out of the locker room anyway because his parents asked him to, and standing there so tall and sweet.
I loved Danny not having to be asked twice to have his picture taken with Meghan and me…flashing that million dollar smile he has and knowing he is adorable.
I love the smile Danny gave me whenever he saw me.
I loved sitting on the couch and watching Danny read the book I brought up, then burying his head at a scene on the tv…all grown up and still shy…letting me cover his ears so he wouldn’t hear what was going on.
I loved talking to Jim about ….everything.
I loved getting to know him now.
I loved Maureen for everything.
For initiating the Girly Cousins Weekend and the Gettysburg trip and this trip.
For cleaning, but leaving her quilting out.
For the trip to the yarn shop and for lunch by the river with oysters, steak and cocktails.
For sharing her family and home with me.
For including me.
Family is different…family has a bond that makes your heart just that bit warmer when bad days come.