Thursday, July 02, 2009

Perspective

This photo was taken a few weeks ago, while on a family camp out at Cape Lookout State Park. Our group found ourselves on a spontaneous walk up the beach, towards the cape. I was with my two brothers, sister-in-laws, sister, and various other family members. I honestly don't get much "family time," as in extended family time. I've been married coming up on twenty years now, and live about two hours from most family members, just off an interstate that seems to only go North.
Our get togethers are generally a family picnic in August, and a Christmas Eve party. I've attended most weddings, showers, and anniversaries when possible, but sometimes the physical distance makes it difficult to connect.
I found myself, waxing a bit sentimental on this walk. While with them, I took a moment to notice that I was actually with my brothers and sisters. Not at a party, where it's comparable to speed dating. Sort of a speed catch-up with relatives, "Oh, you lost your job? You had surgery? Your wife left you?" Some of these things said, some unsaid.
But we were actually walking on a beach, together. As we strolled, I turned to notice that my sister was with her husband, smiling, and behaving rather playfully. These past few years, she has been sick with a blood disorder, balancing living with pain and other physical ailments. But it was a moment of joy seeing her being happy, with people she loved, and that loved her.
I spent much of my childhood at my sister's home. She had the generosity to include myself, and my brother in her life. She is several years older than I, and although she had her own family, we were with them a good portion of the time. She fed us, entertained us, and included us in her life. I will always be grateful for this time given, and will never be able to repay such kindness.
My sister hasn't shared much in regards to the pain this disease brings her. Sometimes I see it, other times, she hides the pain. She is in the hospital right now, I've not known to rush up the interstate, or wait until a "good time to go." Never seems to be such a time.
I know that God is the author of all our stories, and hers like most, has been one of joy and pain. My prayer for her is that she will be given the strength to endure the pain, and feel the joy that may seem too difficult to experience during this time.