This past Sunday my oldest brother, my sister and her fiancé came into town. It has become an annual trip for them to visit our mother, who lives with me and my husband. I really am just getting to know them due to the fact that we didn’t grow up together or live near one another.
My mom remarried after she had my two brothers and sister. My sister is 14 years older than me, and my brother is 4 years older than her. We all, of course, have different personalities and different life experiences, but there is something there that ties us together. I am glad to finally get to spend some time with them.
I was the one who left Pennsylvania when I was eighteen. Anxious to discover life, I enlisted in the Air Force before I was even out of high school. Before that, we all lived in different towns about an hour apart. Now I live 2000 miles away in Texas. My mom has lived with me pretty much for the last 22 years. Mom doesn’t travel anymore, so a few years ago, my brother and sister decided to come here to visit with her.
I was able to take some time off work this week to spend with them. On Monday, we went to the Dallas World Aquarium. It was quite a long day for Mom but she went along. It’s a unique experience. There are 3 levels set up as one ecosystem. The first floor is all the undersea things; it even had a tunnel of glass that was surrounded by water so you could see the animals swimming around you. The second floor was set up to be ground level. Spiders, lizards, penguins, flamingos and other birds made up that level. The third floor was up in the trees. More birds, monkeys, and a sloth were up there. It was a really neat place to spend the day.
I went to work on Tuesday and Wednesday, and my brother and sister and her fiancé did some antique shopping while Mom caught up on her rest. At 86, she takes naps whenever she is tired, which may be several times a day.
Thursday and Friday we all worked in our mom’s flowerbeds. We pulled weeds, planted bulbs, and put down mulch. The little electric fence that runs around the flowerbed is to deter, mainly the dogs, from getting in it; and it was in need of repair. It reinforces the scolding they get when I catch them in there; cats are cats and do what they please. All the things that got accomplished in those 2 days would have taken me and my husband probably two whole weekends to do. It didn’t feel like the usual labor camp with such great company. Only family will put you to work when you are on vacation! But it was all a labor of love, and I am forever grateful.
Today is our last full day together. The week has gone by so quickly! Last year, I had too many obligations at work to be able to spend much time at home with them. I even had to miss out on the nightly games of Scrabble. But this year was extra special because I was able to not only spend time with them, but also collaborate on projects around the house.
One never knows what the next year will bring, so we are trying to live in the moment and enjoy every part of it. It’s a good practice for every day. We are not just family by blood, but I feel it is also by choice. I am so happy to have them in my life.
Ephesians 1:5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.