Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 292 The Joy of Family on the Pilgrim Road

Dear friends,

All I can say is, love your families. Every family is an imperfect, dysfunctional, motley crew, but the love of our relations is in a category of by itself.

Going on 10 months ago now, my brother in law Tom took a ride on the Thomas Dewey Thruway to Albany. It was a ride he never wanted to take, and never would have dreamed of on that surprisingly warm fall morning. On the way from Syracuse, he had to wonder if his brother would be alive when got to Albany. On top of that, his niece was in a coma, and in concert with the rest of our relatives, he experienced the grief and agony of the unknown outcome.

With all that has passed since that surreal time, I can't tell you what joy it was to see the delight in my precious brother in law's eyes as he watched Stephen come down the slide in his pool, hang in the hot tub, and eat a triple yum meal at the Syracuse Smith's favorite restaurant. (We were treated like kings and queens! No resort could have been more fun or more pampering.) These dear folks are truly a gift from the Great One to us. The scripture says "He sets the lonely in families" and you can see why.

Of all the good to come out of a disaster, this has been among the finest. We do not take our families for granted. We may live a distance apart, and perhaps we voted for different people for president, but there is a special tie that comes with the people you grow up with. Smitty has always loved his brothers and sisters, but there is a depth to it now that wasn't there before, and I believe that it runs both ways. As for me, I love seeing my children in relationship with their cousins in such a natural and unique way. I remember it with my own cousins, and there's just something about those friendships that don't require lots of back story. They simply love one another. Period.
Hope you enjoy the pictures of our extended vacation time at Smith Resort West. Tom and Sandy and Steve and I have learned the value of family, and it has not always been a smooth road. But the pilgrim highway never is. Especially when the reward at the end is great. We bless them, as we do all of you, for their continued love and kindness to this flawed but wildly grateful party of five.
Looking forward to the rest of the evening, with a bonfire outside, maybe the hot tub, and smores. Best of all, I'm looking forward to Tom, Sandy, Samantha, Abbie and Jackie. Because life is all about 2 things. Love God. Love people. And our families, they get a chapter in life's book all their own.
By the way, I'm in the pool in the photos because the water is 88 degrees. Amen.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


1 comment:

Mary Louise said...

I am totally with you on water temperature. I love swimming, but only if I am not freezing! Glad you have relatives with a heated pool. What a blessing.