I’m home from my vacation, which would normally require a “finally.” This time is different though. Finally doesn’t fit. It isn’t that I don’t want to be here; I love my home and my life here. It seems natural to be here and nothing about my vacation requires rest to get over. I just felt so much a part of what was going on in my family. The drama of individual lives was going on around us and yet we still seemed held together — a family. Maybe that requires age, maybe it requires distance. Something just felt magical about my visit. Something I cannot quite put into words.
My vacation was timed to coincide with my cousin’s wedding — a favorite cousin, a friend, a remarkable person whose love is one of joy that can make your heart skip a beat. I could not have stood to not be there for her on such a special day. Her husband, I’ve discovered is so perfect for her. The half she had been missing. What Becky wanted for her wedding was a feeling of family. My branch of the family brought our unique gifts. My older brother, a professional photographer, did what he does best. My younger brother took care of the candid shots, the “real life” shots. He perhaps represented us more than anyone else, being able to sit and visit through much of the reception. My parents and I were the reception, my mom specifically coordinating people and my dad coordinating food and decor. I kept with them, fixing the cake after it had been smashed a bit in the car. It was to be all white with flowers on top, but I wreathed the lowest level in fresh red roses and strawberries, making sure to place a rose in each thumb print left by another person trying to push the cake back into position. It turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. I also worked as my dad’s staff, putting trays of food where he said, moving crockpots to where he said to move them, retrieving what needed to be retrieved. While my dad and I had so much work to do that we didn’t get to see the ceremony, it feels worth it to me. I enjoyed the day greatly. There were a lot of people involved beyond us. I didn’t know many of these people and didn’t really have time to get to know them, but it was evident that family was the most important part of her day. That night, we slept very well.