I’m laying next to a window listening to my uncles outside on the porch sorting out the kind of what’s what that you are left to settle and wonder and talk over when someone dies.
I’m with all of my extended family, feeling disrupted about memories, the past and the future, last night as I was sitting with 3 generations worth of relatives, at my great grandparents house. Loving, well meaning Aunts kept offering me food as a healing balm as if disrupting my nostalgia would change things.
But no amount of dessert, ham or sweet tea will change the family funeral we will all be at tomorrow.
There are so many thoughts I have about love, denial, understanding, redemption and pettiness, what makes families tick and remain and disperse. What makes blood thicker than water… The value of your heritage, what’s handed down to you in the name your parents and grandparents gave you and what legacy you’ll leave.
I have no way to articulate all that I think should be said, what I need to learn thru this, I might by tomorrow, or I may lay it with the long line of things unsaid that my ancestors have buried before me. For now I’m just gonna settle back into my eaves dropping spot so I don’t accidentally voice my opinion. Knowing it’s always safer not to interact when emotion is running this high…
The thing I’ve noticed though is the cleaner you keep your life the less wreckage you’ll leave behind for the people who loved you to sort. And I hope when it comes time for people to tell the truth about me and say what they wouldn’t say while I was alive, I hope there’s some thing worth saying. I hope when they go thru my books and find out what mattered to me it will be something worthwhile. Most of all I hope I leave less harm behind me than I leave good.
One thing this weekend reinforces is how thankful I am for my wonderfully big family. I have 7 siblings…My Grandmother came from a family of 9 children, they were closer than most families I’ve ever seen. They worked hard, grew up and then raised their children and grandchildren together and built us a legacy of memories… That all of us value.
With tears in my eyes I listened to my Uncle Bobby (the last of the brothers in their family) tell story after story of how they grew up, adventures, mishaps, accidents, a full life… And he turned to me and said, anyway, we had our experiences. And I just nodded my head. And after one more story he said we sure had our experiences and I thought to myself. That’s what I want to say when I’m 82. That’s what my brothers and sisters will be able to say. We sure did have our experiences.