I have spent this past long weekend soaking up some much needed time with my family.
My aunts and uncles are in their late 70s and early 80s. Most of my first cousins are in their 50s or older. I have always loved being in this kind of older family dynamic. They take time with each other. They tell stories - really well. The same stories actually. And I always laugh hysterically even though I know what is coming next. They simply never get old.
We love to play cards. Variations of gin and canasta I suppose. Our favorite for the past several years has been Hand and Foot. While I've been living away for the past 3 years they started playing this game with partners. I discovered a few weeks ago that they always sit in the same spots around the dining room table at my aunt's house. Six players - always.
My uncle passed this summer. So when I moved back home I took his place.
"Took his place." Doesn't sound or seem right.
So now I'm partners with my Aunt Ann for Hand and Foot. She's quite the card player. This past weekend though my aunt had a church event the night we played cards. So, my cousin who was visiting took her place. My uncle was her father. So she sat in his place. And I sat in my aunt's place at the head of the table.
I voiced that I was not comfortable with taking her seat. You see my aunt is quite a force. And I mean that as a compliment. She commands a room in an amazingly strong, yet soft and feminine way. There's no "taking her place."She should be pictured next to "hostess" in Webster's.
We still had a truly lovely evening though. The card game was a hoot though my cousin and I started a game with negative 2,000ish points after one hand. Ha! We ate, shared stories, teased, and reminisced.
Being around them awakens something powerful within me. I'm sure you've experienced the same with your families. I wonder what pieces of them I will carry with me when they are gone. Will my children enjoy being around their aunts and uncles this much as they grow up? I sure hope so.