“It was the summer of the year the relatives came.They came up from Virginia.They left when their grapes werenearly purple enough to pick. But not quite.They drove all day long and into the night, and while theytraveled along they looked at the strange housesand different mountains and they thoughtabout their almost purple grapes back home.They thought about Virginia –but they thought about us, too. Waiting for them.
“Back to the daily grind?” my cousin asks over the phone.
I had a weekend in which another cousin got married, a weekend in which the relatives came to visit. Evenings were meant for lingering and laughter. Bedtimes were a word that seemed as if used in the past and rooms were less roomy but so much better somehow. What I love about a family wedding is how it gathers people together. How people travel from a far.
I am back to the daily grind and I am rusty. The packing of a kindergartner’s lunchbox takes me entirely too long. The putting to sleep of children on time takes me too long. The hurrying hurrying hurrying takes too long as well.
But for family we sacrifice. We come from afar to see them get married.
We come from afar to see them join another family. We come from afar to see them off, to watch them travel afar.
Last hugs are given. Hearts feel empty. Rooms are roomier but emptier again.
But with all the come-from-a-far, we are always and somehow close. We are after all family.