Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined the immense joy in seeing my nephews happy and proud. Never did I think I would have a child, much less adore him, warts and all.
Never did I imagine that I had warts. (Ok, we ALL grow up.)
Never did I imagine that my brother-in-law would be my brother, too. Or that my sister-in-law, 7 years my junior, would evoke such respect, love and awe for her “male management” in the Shap Shack. [I wish we were closer in geography, time and heart.]
Or that my brother and I, sometimes so diametrically opposed yet so alike in manner, in humor and in comic timing, would sit companionably at a table where he and my son were feasting on pork in a Jewish home.
Or that my brother’s son would come north and share sleep away camp with my son, his cousin.
These are the gifts of family. Gifts of age. And, with age, the gift of perspective.
But most important, these are, yes, the gifts that make life beautiful and bountiful and safe.
The gifts that wait for us to grow, change, reject what was, and then, coming full circle, accept what was and, as a consequence, what is.
And the gifts for which, even in the moments of sorting out the affairs of the living and the dead (and those hovering in between), I am grateful. Because it means that SOB, BOB and I will have each other. And, that, in bad times, in desperate times, in unfair times, we can rely on each other.
Because no matter how far off any of us travels, or how bad things get, there is, at long last, the ties that bind. The door that is wide open. Even more important, the loving arms that beckon us into a secure embrace.
And that makes life, indeed, beautiful and full.
[P.S.: I rented a Texas-size car for visiting day at camp. Just in case SOB and HOSOB want to join the road trip.]