The Ties that Bind

There are days when I think there can’t possibly be a heaven and days where I firmly believe there must be.  If paradise does exist then I know exactly what my heaven would be like.

My heaven would be a medium-sized house.  Not a big house, a big house would not serve my purpose at all.  A medium-sized house with no more than four bedrooms, a living room, a dining room and perhaps a den.

And my entire family would be there.

It wouldn’t have to be a special occasion.  An eternal Christmas would be nice, but only if it’s the type of heaven where you never get bored of any specific day.

But my entire family would be there.  My uncles who have died, cousins that I never knew, or hardly knew.  Every single one of my relatives would be there, even the ones I hardly know.

Because even though I struggle to remember Tracy’s wife’s name or I have no idea what Lisa does for a living, I still miss them.  If Trish or Sarah (who’ve I’ve seen perhaps twice in ten years) wasn’t there then it wouldn’t be the same.

My grandmother died on Wednesday.  The weekend prior, the entire family gathered to see her one last time.  I’m not entirely sure she knew who I was, but I’m glad I got to see her regardless.

The funeral was today and the priest who conducted the mass took one look at us and said, ‘You’re not a family- you’re a tribe.’  I liked that.

When I was younger I don’t think I understood the incredible importance of family.  Now that I’m getting older it’s becoming far more clear.  There are cousins that I will probably never be very close to, but they’re my family and I love them.

I can’t describe the incredible happiness I feel when I see all of my family in one house.  As much as I love spending time with Jeff, Miranda, Imelda and Corinna, there’s something wonderful about all forty of us gathered in one place together.  It’s this wonderful, beautiful thing that can never be replicated or adequately described.

It’s my greatest hope that we’ll continue being a family even though our matriarch has died.  I know that family was the most important thing to her, and she would want us all to stick together even now that she’s gone.

But yes, if there’s a paradise my family would be there in their entirety.  In fact, God’s first words to me would be, “Don’t worry.  Everyone’s here waiting for you.”

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~ by atypicalsnowman on July 4, 2009.

2 Responses to “The Ties that Bind”

  1. Kristen, These are beautiful memories that you have recorded here. We will continue to see each other even though only Mother’s spirit will be there. We have the “tools” now a days to communicate instantly with everyone so we just have to name the time and place so we can all be there.
    Aunt Liz

  2. Hi Kristen. Girl, you need to sign your work. This article, I can see, was written from the heart, not that Imelda doesn’t write that way but she forwarded it to all of us and it was sent from an iphone so I put two and two together and thought, “Aha!, Imelda wrote this.” So I responded to Imelda but my sister Elizabeth corrected me on that point. She did a little more investigating than I and told me it was you. Sorry about that. I hope that you got my email to Imelda —- well, now I’m saying, “That sounds like a perfect heaven, Kristen.” The rest was written and sent with my best intentions, so please adopt them to yourself. Thanks.

    By the way, you write beautifully.

    In answer to what Lisa, my daughter, is doing for a living … my child who has attended college for 14 years and who is a brilliant and gifted writer also, is temporarily unemployed. Her undergrad degree is in communications with an emphasis on television and film; her first masters is in Family Counseling and her second masters is in education K-12, with a Special Ed certification. She graduates in August. She does have a signed contract to do substitute teaching this coming year while she waits and hopes for a contract. As you can see, she is really qualified but I am sure that as soon an opening appears, she will get her job.

    She and her two children, Ethan and Robyn just left for Louisiana on vacation. She’s going to stay with a friend.

    Mark and Tracy are doing well. I guess you saw them that Saturday when everybody was down to see Mother.

    Love and kisses to you, your mom and dad, Kim and “Little” John. Love, Aunt Leonor

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