My mother once said something quite curious to me. And the even more curious thing that occurs to me is that I believe she said it the summer I was out in Estes Park Colorado – the summer she was home struggling with advancing cancer to which she succumbed that following December.

“Manda, sometimes reuniting with family is done in twenty minutes.” I remember as a twenty-something thinking that sounded cold, cruel and callous and couldn’t be. With experience, I appreciate my mom’s courage saying that – especially because, if my memory serves me right, she shared that at a time when she must have had an inkling of her waning time on earth. 

I see the sacrifice of loving parent to child = giving permission for guilt-free agitation in the midst of family they’ve outgrown. In a funny way she let me know I was greatly loved – and that I could greatly love – in the midst of all my feelings.

Thanks, Mom, for sharing your sage ‘family in twenty’.