Another few days have gone by during this week-long Seattle vigil with my 95- and 93-year-old parents. Embedded within what for my high-powered self feels like their excruciating slowness, are Acts one, two, and three of niece Meggie’s full-on, multi-detailed Wedding extravaganza that has drawn all eight of us siblings here to Seattle for the first time since our Mom’s 90th birthday.
As I sat last night at one of the two tables reserved for Kreilkamps at the wedding rehearsal dinner (65 people, ocean waterfront, fresh salmon or steak), I couldn’t help but reflect on the love streaming through and among us. My 30-year oldest-child ideological battle with Dad (that kept our entire family in a tense, polarized stand-off for thirty years) cleared a decade ago. Any issues I had with other siblings have subtly dissolved like sugar in water since.
All of us seem to be doing our part to see this beloved niece married. Sister Kathy is doing the flowers. Another niece, Megan, designed the programs. Her mother, our sister Paula, flew in from Baton Rouge to stay with sister Mary, mother of the bride, and clean up after ongoing festivities there. I helped decorate the hall for the reception yesterday, along with Mary’s husband John and my brother Mark’s wife. Sister Marnie bought clothes for Mom to wear, and had them hemmed. Brother Mark and his daughter Katie will play music at the reception. Brother John, in from Anchorage, will MC. On and on. It takes a village to raise a child, and see her off!
Throughout this period, I sense us sweetly immersed in a loving bubble of shared intent surrounded by catabolic forces of change. Yes, this bubble will pop. Before it does, we are determined to complete this journey with beauty and integrity. And humor! And yet, the situation holds a bittersweet quality: this may be the final occasion when we are all together with both folks.
Meanwhile, for news on Japan by the channel Mathew, Steve Beckow has catalogued his latest missive.
Hopefully, I’ll be back in gear sometime next week. Still need to get home computer up and running again, once I return late Monday.
P.S. Can’t resist this little story: my ideological battle with Dad could heat up, if I let it. For example: yesterday, I heard him yell in a loud voice, while watching Fox news, “Look at that! He’s wasting bullets! Shooting them in the air!” Years ago, I would have marched out there and said, caustically, “Oh yes, let’s shoot human beings instead!” But I didn’t. Nor did I have to stop myself. I just shook my head in wonder at the incredible scenes playing out on this our beloved Earth as we head into the whirlwind.