I was at spin class today for the first time in over a week. I have had lots of fun company keeping me from my rigorous summer workout schedule. A favorite cousin of mine whom I haven't seen in over 35 years came down from Michigan for the weekend. It seemed like we had just awakened from our summer sleep over of 38 years ago, all groggy and eager for shared secrets, gossip and companionship. Not a moment had passed in all of those years of non-communication. Not one moment. It was lovely and soul-filled on so many levels. We've made plans to meet this winter too.
When I returned from taking her to the airport Monday, two of my aunts were waiting for me in the kitchen. I really love it when my aunts can come for a visit. Lots of girl talk and laughing, good food and plenty of cocktails. My mother died 10 years ago and this special time with her sisters feels like I have a part of my mom back with me. I hear lots of stories I never knew before. Some good stories and some showing my mother's less than shining side. The side most of us like to hide from our children. Those are the stories that are the most endearing to me. I relish hearing about her "bitchiness" and the unkind tricks she pulled as a kid. It makes her human. And that much more "real" to know she had her shadows just like the rest of us.
When I picked up my cousin at the airport, it was the image of her mother that greeted me. She too, remarked on the moment she saw me in the car and recognized "Aunt Ann" immediately. We are living legacies to our mothers. While we have become our own women, we owe more than we can even imagine to our mothers. And to our grandmothers, our aunts and our cousins. To all of the women in our long line of ancestors and those yet to come. In all directions of time. It is the dance of love, the circle of life. Now and forever, Amen.