Lovin’ The Family Time

Traveling with a feisty older brother means curve balls ricochet within each day’s plan.  The trip brims with leadership bids proven ineffective over an old GPS afflicted with electronic Alzheimer’s.  It refuses to register its location.

The hardiness of both sisters shone beyond expectation.  The sibling who underwent lumpectomy surgery greeted and visited as though the procedure had been done the week before.  With her son and daughter joining the visit, we left her tired and blissful.

Two days later, our oldest sister greeted us with unexpected enthusiasm and clarity.  Immediate recognition, big hugs and a welcome “airing” outside in the gorgeous sunlit morning reassured us of our sister’s improvement.  Though she’s adamant about returning home, all of us know that her safety and quality of life will be sustained with competent staff in her new residence of well appointed care.

Concerns have been overridden with the strength of familiar voices, an abundance of healing familiarity and the seal of family humour.

Thanks, everyone, for all the good wishes, prayers and positive thoughts.  You added a healing agent to their lives.

We topped the serving of family love when we visited and shared dinner with our brother and his family.  He and I are the two youngest.   It’s been a long time since a hug meant as much as the one I shared with this brother.  We may not connect as often as many families, but the depth and quality of this familial recharge will be life-sustaining for me.

As my older brother knelt on the ground to tidy the simple granite marker for our parents’ ashes, I envisioned Mom and Dad looking at one another and saying, “We didn’t do such a bad job.”

After visiting the first sister, we headed for the brother's cottage by a mountain lake. This was our morning greeting. We stayed for two days and cleaned the yard from winter's ravages.

Watching smoke make an artful appearance over the lake.

Healthy food abounded - like this salad for lunch. One dinner was fresh halibut cooked to a golden crispy brown perfection. Hard physical labour aided and abetted the appetite.

The hotel’s WiFi is grouchy.  It keeps cutting out when I attempt to add more photos.

Have to send this for now.

I miss you, all your news and your goings-on.

Love to all of you.

.

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60 thoughts on “Lovin’ The Family Time

    • Thanks, IC – hope you are doing well. Yes, my older brother would say, “Yep! They did an especially good job on me!” He’s never suffered from low self esteem! :D

  1. That lake shot is gorgeous…I’d want to stay there forever…even without internet! I had to chuckle at your typo “bother” instead of “brother” – mine would accuse me of doing that on purpose! You didn’t, did you? Hope you continue to have a wonderfully blessed and safe trip, my friend.

    • Oh, Suzicate, I’m so glad you pointed that out! It’s been a challenge to post…the server is frustrating and the older bro keeps me in interruptions. Plus I just caught the maid spraying this ghastly scented chemical on the carpet. No wonder I can’t breathe – sez she who lives with open doors, windows and all things natural. I’ve peeked at your posts, Suzicate, but I’m missing your great photography.

    • Thank you, Charles. I wonder what you’ve been up to…if I can, I may have about an hour today to take quick peeks at blogs. Nothing like being totally shaken out of routines and habits! It’s good for me.

    • The souls of my parents must be shining today. Thanks for your compliment, SuZen. When I head back home, I’ll be seeing if I can find out about the diet that would compliment the meds – vis a vis the site you showed me.

    • Loved your story about the farm part of your life. I can see your spirit getting you through an adventure like that. I’m very tired – I don’t sleep well when I can’t have fresh air. This hotel has only air conditioning – no latched windows. My bro is off somewhere today with a buddy. Who knows when he’ll turn up again. He’s a little unpredictable when he gets with cronies.

  2. There is no other relationship so comforting and which gives a sense of solid security as that exists between siblings. When we get together, it is like getting back to our childhood, without the fights , of course. Glad you’re getting to spend time with your family. That place looks so idyllic. Where exactly is it ?I would have a really terrible time leaving .

    • The photos, Nadira, are from a lake in central British Columbia called Shuswap Lake. The cottage is a lovely home that is designed for my brother’s family and grandchildren to enjoy. Funny though…the younger folk often look further afield for holidays or adventures.

      Yes, isn’t it grand to mature and see all the things about siblings that we appreciate.

  3. It’s sounding like you are having a great trip. Cottage near lake- wow! it’s beautiful. Your brother is a really lucky person to have a cottage in such a beautiful place. I think this photograph would be a great header for your blog. Waiting to see more photographs of such beautiful places.
    Enjoy the trip to its fullest Amy aunty. :)

    • Many thanks, Arindam. It’s a place where Nature abounds. It would be nice to stay there a couple of weeks, but I have to get back home. Have to plan it for another time.

  4. Okay……I’m all about that salad!!!!! OH my gosh…that looks amazing!

    And the lake–*sigh* Perfect–and perfect timing.
    I’m glad for that.

    And I’m glad for the greetings and welcome extended to you by the sisters–they sound like they’re doing amazingly well, all things considered. Still, I’m sure they’re glad for the ‘check in’ and the physical presence of YOU…
    But that centering by the lake surely didn’t hurt.

    And I’m STILL all about the salad. LOL

    I must be hungry, huh? ;-)

    (smelly stuff from a can in closed quarters woulda given me an asthma attack and a permanent ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door…..LOL)

    • Just came from another visit with my oldest sister – on my own this time. I was pleased to see she’s now realized she can get outside – been missing that good clean fresh air. She finished her dinner and could hardly wait to get me to take her outside for a good sit. I see how easily she gets twisted around, but she sure has her wits about her. She helped make some cookies yesterday she said – I see the staff put different people to work which is great. When I asked if she wants something to do with her hands, she told me she can’t see well enough to knit, etc. But I hope to plant seeds to find something that she could do and would enjoy. She’s like you, Mel, give her a craft and she’s in like Flint.

  5. What great news from the Pacific Northwest. You live near and around beautiful surroundings. There is nothing like getting together with immediate familly, with shared history, values and love. Your lunch looked beautiful before you ate it…you are eating healthy for sure. Take care and I wish you a continued safe trip.

    • I do love our Province of BC – the cottage is on a mountain lake in the interior. Alberta is my home province, however, so when we were coming into Calgary, I saw a cowgirl on a gorgeous horse, galloping across the prairie and I nearly lost any composure. I introduced my brother to my eating style – he ate lots of that salad, but he’s got to have his potatoes.

  6. Thanks for sharing your family time with us. Mine starts tomorrow with the funeral of my SIL who was in hospice for two weeks. Unfortunately I didn’t get to say goodbye to her. Knowing you as I do the day won’t be as sad from your perspective. Or from my ACIM teachings. But I will miss her. The family dynamics will be different.

    • You do know me, Clarbojahn, if you mean that my grief really is about us not being able to hear, touch and see that person again. Someone recently said, “When we die it’ll be like turning our head. One second we’ll be seeing one thing and the next, it’ll be another.” I figure I have nothing to lose by acting as if they hear and see us. I may as well listen to the little message that has their voice print.

      I hope you’ll be comforted with a knowing ease, Clarbojahn.

  7. Amy wow nice revisit to your writing, I wasn,t aware you are here seeing mom, I am in her house and still working here, if your stay is longer then a few days maybe we could spend a meal together.

  8. So very happy to hear that this visit had been such a good one on so many levels Amy…was comforting to read that both your sisters are doing well in spite of the limitations of health…being together in the circle of love and comfort of family has it own power dynamics of well being…may you all always be surrounded by this blessing of your parents…

    Stay well…stay blessed…and enjoy the rest of your trip Amy…
    God bless you all…

  9. Amy, my wishes are late: but I send them anyhow. What blessings from your time together as a family: amazing how healing time with these earliest friends can be. Thank you for a beautiful post.

  10. What a pleasure it was to read this, the family sentiments were heart warming and the pictures so beautiful. Your body may be worn out but your heart is full of love. Travel safe, it’s good to go away but coming home is even better, at least for me.

    • It’s good to do a little weight lifting, but I’m doing my share this trip with luggage, briefcase. I ought to be in good shape by the time I get home. Had my 3rd visit with our big Sis and we had a good ol’ girl time. She thought she’d lost some clothes, but we found them – shoved in an obscure drawer. A blue sweater was of particular interest and when that was uncovered, she was as thrilled as the day she bought it. Yes, I’ll be happy to get back to the Coast air and my bed! :D

  11. Sounds great to be able to reconnect with your family. And I find that it’s not always how often you are together or how connected you are that matters when it comes to true bonds. My sister lives in a different country and our relationship has only grown with the years. I feel very close to her, although it’s not true physically speaking. Thanks for sharing these precious moments. And by the way the photographs are gorgeous. Your brother’s place looks very serene and peaceful.

    • Otto! You are such a dear for commenting on the photos. I may have to quit right now having been complimented by a man of your photographic quality. Seriously, thank you! Yes, I agree, frequency does not come into play, I also find. We jokingly call ourselves “a foul weather family”. We don’t live in each others’ pocket, but we strive to be “there” when anyone is in need.

  12. Beautiful post and pics, Amy! So glad that your family’s reuinions were all so positive. I spoke with all 3 of my siblings yesterday to touch base about our parents ~ good conversations . . . a sprinkling of laughter.

    It does the heart good. :D

    • I sure do know what you mean, Nancy, about the heart being good. I had a grand visit with the oldest sister today – cleaning drawers and closets so she can find things. She said she felt guilty that I was working and I told her it was good to feel useful. Can’t beat family humor – for many reasons. It’s a good sign.

  13. What, for some families, would be a stress filled set of circumstances, in your family is a warm exchange of love, work, memories, and sharing good food. The cabin by the lake sounds blissful and the salad looks really yummy. I love the bit about the GPS with Alzheimer’s!

  14. Amy,

    What a lovely and endearing post.

    As I was reading your closing lines about your brother kneeling down and….. ” I envisioned Mom and Dad looking at one another and saying, “We didn’t do such a bad job.”, I felt a lump in my throat. As I grow older, the realisation of the selfless love that only my parents bestowed on me, grows. I can see the various occasions when I had been thoughtless, selfish…. in every case the response had been thoughtful and selfless. Parents somehow reinforce the existence of a superior power.

    And Amy. your photographs simply took my breath away. Do you realise how blessed you are to have experienced these sublime and wonderful moments?

    God bless

    Shakti

  15. Hi Amy .. it sounds a wonderful trip – and that the family is united again .. I am so pleased for you .. and you will all have happy memories to return home with – perhaps with a plan for another visit not so long away ..

    Big hugs – cheers Hilary

    • Hilary, it’s true. The memories of this trip will be exceptional. I wonder if it is partly because I’m sharing it with so many grand people like you. Hope your mom is well and is still able to appreciate all the incredible care her daughter is providing!

    • Jacqueline, I hope you stay in touch with cousins. As we age, the familial ties become more and more precious. I have a cousin, an only child, who hasn’t quite caught on to this concept. She’s still young enough to be invincible. :) I love sharing family with you. Our maternal grandparents were from England so the paternal side – Irish – has kept us from being snobbish about it. Therefore we’ve needed no explanation over the situation in Northern Ireland! :D

  16. Love to you too Amy. Sorry to hear about your sisters’ ailments, I too am familiar with cancer and dementia in my family. :( It’s hard business, and it makes us even more grateful for the good times. I’m glad your visit went well. The photos are beautiful.

  17. The photos are beautiful, Amy — an enchanted spot, for sure. When I was young I had a friend who constantly told me that family was over-rated. For awhile, because she had such great influence on me, I allowed myself to believe that. Then I smartened up. Started thinking for myself and what I found was that family, for all its troubles, its differences, its pettiness is pretty damned wonderful. I couldn’t imagine my life without my brothers and sisters. I’m so happy to hear that you’ve had such a great time. Keep making memories, in the end they’re the most precious thing we take with us.

  18. Your brother’s cabin is in such a magnificent spot. How lovely that you were able to spend a few days there with both your brothers. Life is made of memories like those…

  19. Beautiful post and stunning photos!
    I am so glad you could spend some quality time with your family and in such beautiful surroundings.
    Take care ♥♥♥

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