a few days ago someone asked me if i regularly consumed large amounts of alcohol. i sat and thought for a moment then replied, “well, last week was an exception.” then came, “what happened last week?”
“ah. yes. family vacation.” as they nodded their head in that way you do to acknowledge sympathetic compassion. for the sake of full disclosure, this conversation was with an anesthesiologist and i was prepping for a minor surgical procedure. (everything’s fine.)
don’t get me wrong, i love my family. every last one of them. even when they’re bat shit crazy and doing stuff that makes me blink a lot and ask questions like, ‘are you effing kidding me?’ i would even go out on a limb to acknowledge that i love family vacations the most of all kinds of vacations. especially when every single member of the family is there; proudly waving their freak flag. i hate it when even one person is missing.
for me, these gatherings make me feel like i enter into a cocoon of rabid judgement. fierce i-love-you-so-much-i-could-kick-you-in-the-face warmth. delicious, jolting laughter that makes me pee in my pants, just a wink. bottom line, i’m with my tribe of people. and, i love my tribe; as much as i hate them, as much as i enjoy them, as much as i cherish every moment we spend together.
a short while ago we had an occasion to lay to rest two members of our tribe. i was asked to bring my camera and this is what i saw.
getting 16 people under one roof from near and far (mostly far) takes a ton of planning. you don’t just swing by on your way thru town with this many moving parts. it certainly takes a village to make it happen, but there’s usually one who slugs thru the morass of tiny details to tie it all together; making the adventure a huge success. we know who that shining star was and i for one am forever indebted.
getting together as a group doesn’t happen often enough. when time and distance are the great divide, the urgency to share stories and memories is palpable. and, while walking in the footpath of those who went before, the connections show the wear and tear of carrying the longing to reconnect before all the time has passed.
i miss my tribe and i can’t wait until we are back together.