|Photo credit to my cousin, Naomi W.|
- You: my online community of bloggers in these growing friendships across the nation and across the world; or
- You: this group of almost 500 of you who have signed up to receive these blog posts by email; or
- You: friends, family, and acquaintances from women's retreats, conferences, and MOPS groups who stop in here from my facebook page; and
- You: the quiet readers online who smile, and nod, and I know we are sharing a common experience at times too...
The weekend flashed by in vivid moments with relatives:
- My mom and cousin delighted at the chance to buy dozens of roses for the occasion. Fragrant crimson, peach, coral, honeyed-yellows, pinks, and white roses dotted the church dining room
- Long talks with my brother and sister curled up around his gas stove, wrapped in warm blankets
- Tucking up legs under us on a couch, or standing and swaying with the motions of passing people, my cousins and I got re-acquainted, and I got to meet old family friends and relatives too.
- My grandpa moved to tears as we hugged, and later hearing his wavering but strong voice as he sang a Hebrew blessing from the Old Testament over his extended family.
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face towards you
and give you peace (from the Bible book of Numbers, chapter 6).
And as craggy white-capped Mount Rainier towered across the airport, looming larger than I could believe, my brother's car pulled away from the curb, and I strode into the airport that Sunday afternoon. My grandpa's voice and words still linger.