When my mom took her own life in July 2008 and then my grandfather died a few months later, my aunt bought all the family members a little book on grief. In it, I was touched by a passage about how in a flock of geese when one bird is injured, a few drop out of formation and fly near the bird to offer support. When the bird is okay, they return to flying in formation.
This summer the family has returned to formation. We agreed that in 2010 we’d all meet at my uncle’s lake home in Wisconsin where we all have roots in some way, shape or form. And we have congregated.
(A number of my relatives are adverse to FB/blogs and made me promise that I wouldn’t post pictures all over the internet of them. But a few agreed).
There is a five year old little girl here. I watch her and remember what it was like when I was five and spent time on a lake in summer. And I think about how much my life changed as I grew older and both of my parents ended up succumbing to addiction. I think of how my family members – on both sides of the family – flew in and helped me when I was injured from turmoil – until I too could return to flying in full formation. As part of the flock.
Today I water skied for the first time in twenty-five years and I tubed for the first time ever. And I quietly glided off by myself on a kayak. More significant, I laughed and felt the strength of family when it is healthy. When it is healing. When it is restored.
And I looked up to the heavens and thanked God for God. For being “by my side” all these years even when I didn’t always realize it.