At Bowden, Alberta I thought…
The roads suck, the weather has been foggy, frosty and fresh, the frost has been dazzling and the beauty of it all is perfectly matched by how ‘inconvenient’ it all is.
I went to a funeral yesterday. It was my uncle’s; the man who took over the family farm from my grandfather and the man who, because of that, was in many ways the hub of what I see as family.
Not the first of his generation to die, but in my mind the first real hole in that generation. The cousins I grew up with, the aunts and uncles who cherished and chided me, the learning, the escapades, the adventures and sense of place all revolved around that farm, that family and that man.
And so a chink appears in the armour that is our assumption that the world will never change around us or fail us or leave us behind. I have faith that the wound will heal and that memories will ease the scar but it resets you world view, your view of center. Because families are not a wheel that need a precise center, they are ball of string that revolves around itself and despite their propensity to become a tangled mess, are not al that hard to repair and reform. I will miss the center that was, but I embrace the linearity of the constuction and look to the future.
The family remains and the bonds formed will not be broken. Come what squabbling or agreements, tragedies or celebrations, I will not forget the love and faith and irascible good humour and the million other familial interactions that brought me to this time and this place.
It is good the have a past. It is good to have people that after many years and many miles, remember who you are. Sometimes these people are blood and sometimes they are not, but they are family. I remind myself now I am rich with family.
I went to a funeral yesterday anticipating a truly bitter-sweet experience. After close to a decade, and closer to two for some, I saw family I had put aside for the nonce. I renewed my membership, introduced my son to the next generation and hopefully demonstrated the respect I have for all of them. I am grateful for the opportunity, saddened by the occasion and unabashedly happy because of the experience.
Everyone needs family. Whether it is of shared blood, shared experience or even shared caused, being part of something always makes you bigger. We forget that too often.
And we shouldn’t. But then again, who ever said I made much sense…
This weekend I…
– bought my son his first tie
– argued with my parents (in that not so serious way>
– carried my uncle’s body with my cousins
– told stories
– failed to recognize people I really should have
– recognized people I really shouldn’t have been able to
– hugged more people than in the last 10 years
– was done proud by my family
– did my family proud (I hope…)
– visited a place where I grew up
– learned about people I grew up with
– met family I had forgotten about
– got some new family
– watched my brothers