It’s odd to feel connected with someone I never shared a family home with, who I’m 16 years older than and we only share one parent. Plus, she has blue eyes!
We’ve never lived closer than 1000 miles apart She grew up with cable t.v. and I grew up with televisions you actually had to get up and change the channels WITH YOUR HAND.
Her youngest is 9. Our granddaughter is 8 this month. She is closer in age to our daughter than to me.
There is something about genetics or nurturing or that strong combination of the two that clearly distinguishes us as sisters. Forget the half part.
We’ve spent more time together since mama’s diagnosis with dementia. I’ve had more trips out there and we’ve shared more in dialogue. Our lives have wound their way toward each other despite the miles in between.
She spent a week with us this summer. Her first vacation without the entourage of her family of 5. We took selfies everywhere we went and she texted them to her husband at home.
Pics from the cabin on the boat, from our outdoor lunch spot on the water and our ‘parking’ spot, a slip in the Intracoastal. Pics from the local ice cream shop known for their gigantic portions and from every tropical spot we could find. I wanted her to soak up every moment of the scenery and ambience this slice of creation has to offer. I want these photos to bring a smile to her face when their ground is covered with snow.
We have this big extended family that she’s grown up around while I’ve been on this side of the country. She keeps me updated, sometimes reminding me who is who, or who is whose in this sprawling group.
We sat around the table one morning, grandma’s bible on the table looking at the names she’d recorded in the pages of births. We saw the full names and the one marked baby Durham with death recorded the same day as his birth.
Inside the front cover it says this bible was given to Othelia Durham for Mother’s Day from her daughter Pauline (our mom) and Bill McFarland.
It’s edges are crinkled with age and the spine is falling off. There’s a napkin tucked in the pages, a napkin with the name and date of her youngest daughter’s wedding. This wasn’t a bible that sat on a shelf but one that was read regularly. I marvel at the understanding of my grandmothers, neither of which finished school. I quit reading the King James as a teenager because the language was so cumbersome yet this was all they had and they kept these words in their heart. And then these words spilled out in the way they lived.
We sat there with all of our differences and all of the things that hold us together and at the center was this ordinary bible, this ordinary beauty of faith.
To all who mourn in Israel he will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness. For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3 LB