|Claes Oldenburg - Typewriter Eraser (1999)|
In brief: the weekend in Delray Beach turned out to be incredibly wonderful. I spent time with both sides of my family, squeezed in a visit to the newly expanded Norton Museum in Palm Beach and strolled the gardens at the Morikami Museum.
Never mind that my rental car was backed into by an 81-year old lady while parked in front of the house where I was staying, the non-stop eventing was fun. I saw a bunch of my cousins, celebrated one aunt's 90th birthday, attended a gala where she was being honored, and also hung out with my 95 year-old aunt from the other side. There were lots of laughs, a few tears, enough love to keep me warm for the rest of the winter and then some.
There is something reassuring about hanging with one's cousins....even the kids of one's cousins. We first ring kids are now the survivors' table. We still giggle and crack up at the same stupid stuff. Someone starts a sentence and then we all start to laugh because we have that same shared memory...and the sentence never gets finished because we're laughing too hard. In a way, we are each others' memories. We share fixed moments that one one else will ever understand. On Dad's side, just the word chicken puts us into spasms; we all know the phrase bakery string will follow and we will all laugh 'til the tears run. On Mom's side, the name Samantha, will set us off (she's not a human dog.) These are truly the ties that bind, the moments that remind us we share blood and history; not a bad combination so long as you can laugh about it.
There was serious stuff, too. I gave my much older cousin (by six months and one week) Ziggy's plot over at the Beth David in Elmont. I mean, it's not like he's gonna use it and it's where she wants to be. It had already been discussed with my bro, and there wasn't much of a decision to be made. The plot is in the family plot; there are limited spaces. I'm not even sure I'm going to end up there, but the last thing I want is some stranger in the middle. Grandpa handed Ziggy the deed the morning after we got married....so he could see that we now had two spaces. Turns out my much older cousin (by six months and one week) has the original deed from the cemetery with the seal intact. Our most elderly of cousins, an attorney, has been retained by me (I gave him a buck to make it official.) He will be in contact with the cemetery to make sure everything is up to date and we are in possession of the documents we need. Unbelievable how hard it is open a grave these days. But here's the thing: it's easy to have this discussion with them. Of course, we laughed a lot, too, but it's also a real estate transaction, if only on paper. And overall, I'm relieved not to worry about this any more.
Of course, if I do decide to get planted there, that means I'm next to my much older cousin (by six months and one week) for all eternity and Grandma Sarah's gonna be real busy telling us to behave like ladies. Fat chance.
|The Morikami Museum from across the lake|
On Sunday after the last family activity (brunch, of course) a friend and I went to the Morikami. I've been there several times; each time, I see something new and beautiful. This time was no different. But after a hectic weekend of family, the walk through the garden was refreshingly peaceful. There was a moment to breathe, a chance to reflect, if only for a little while, about the joyousness of the day, the beauty of the sky, and the fact I am still upright and sucking air. And still laughing. And working. And finding out stuff. Things I like. Things I don't like. Things that need fixing, things that need changing. And things that are just fine. Those are always the most surprising things.
There will be plenty of time to jump up and down about politics later. Tonight, I am just going to let the weekend wash over me. I am so glad I went.
Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Love 'em or hate 'em, your family shares your past.
Hang on to the good stuff and jettison the garbage.
Sharing is not required, but if you can share a laugh, do that much.