“It’s always nice to come home to family! ”

My friend Sandy sent this title as a comment on a recent post. And it is so very true. Despite the fact that we have been having a wonderful vacation and lots of adventures, the very best part of it so far was returning to see my son and his family and my daughter and her two sons. What happiness it is to be in the arms of the people you love!

On Wednesday, when we went to Universal Studios, I enjoyed the free time to talk with my daughter and have some of that mother/daughter time that we lack because she is busy taking care of her own active family and working. It was nice to walk together and to talk about nothing in particular, but just enjoy being together. It was wonderful to see my husband with our daughter and our grandsons enjoying his birthday in such a festive atmosphere. I loved being able to give my grandsons hugs and I was captivated by the smiles of my youngest grandson, now four months old and completely happy all day long! Last night, I enjoyed hearing my son’s stories about the cruise he was on while we were in Alaska. He surely does know how to have adventures! I loved watching him cuddle his older daughter as he sat and talked with us. And I loved talking with another son via Skype this morning. It was so good to hear his voice and to be able to exchange thoughts and ideas.

I suppose this is the reward that some of us parents are lucky enough to get for all of those endless days when we wondered if all of the work and all of the emotional investment would ever be worth it. It was worth it. Every second. It was SO worth it.

And so it is in this context I want to talk about yesterday.

After spending a lovely morning with a lot of the people I have mentioned, we set off to see my husband’s cousin. They are first cousins who last saw each other over 50 years ago!!! For a long time, they were out of contact, but in recent years, through the wonder of email, they reconnected. Although I had never met him or his wife, I felt as if I were seeing family. They were warm and kind and open and friendly and totally delightful despite his being an author of several well-known books and the winner of an Oscar for a screenplay he wrote and her also being an author, well known in her native country. As I watched the two men walking side by side on a sinlit, wind-swept cliff overlooking the Pacific, I was touched by the poignance of older and younger cousin reconnecting and sharing memories and information with each other and each of them finding missing pieces of themselves in the other. Maybe that’s what relating is families is really all about. Maybe when we connect deeply with our family, we are finding pieces of ourselves in them and they in us and all of us are becoming more whole.

As I embraced his wife, I couldn’t help feeling that I would soon be leaving something very precious behind. But I will always treasure the day.

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