It was amazing. About a month ago, my wonderful uncle in New Orleans sent out an invitation to all of his “first tier” nieces to have lunch with him at Commander’s Palace. All 20-something of us nieces made the necessary plans, flights for some, to get there and be part of such a special day. My sister flew in from Atlanta and along with my sister who lives locally, we drove to New Orleans together yesterday morning. It was so wonderful to be with so many beautiful women – by beautiful, I mean yes, they are all a stunning bunch of women. But they are also stunning on the inside. They all have beautiful inner light. So, having that time with my uncle at the helm was just amazing. He is pushing 90 and is just as sharp, brilliant, and humorous as ever. My aunt was there also…his sister. She is just the same, too. Beautiful and kind. Once, during the visit, while we were talking, I had to tell her: Looking into your eyes is like seeing my dad. She said, “Really?” And I told her, yes, I remembered that same beautiful blue color in his eyes. That will never leave me. At another point, as lunch was continuing – this was a fancy event! My uncle took the opportunity to talk with us and share stories from his childhood…what a blessing to hear stories about my dad, my grandparents, etc. – just priceless. And, at one point, he told us, “We are blood. You are mine. And I am yours.” It gives me chills just thinking about it. He looked around the room at each of us and I knew his words were as heartfelt as if he were sitting one-on-one with each of us. That really touched me beyond words. I needed to hear that. After my dad died when I was 8, I never heard anything like that again. I knew when my dad was alive, I was tethered to greatness. I just knew it. He was brilliant. Even 39 years later, when people recall my dad, it is with the utmost love and respect at the person he was. That was lost for me when he died. I lost such valuable touchstones at that time. I began my drift. So, back to yesterday…lunch was over, people began milling about. As my uncle and I approached one another, I smiled and said as genuinely as I was feeling, “I love you.” He said, “I love you, too.” And I took the opportunity to tell him how much he meant to me during my life, especially after my dad died. I told him that he was the only one who maintained contact with us; who came to visit us and let us know he was there.
I left New Orleans feeling renewed. I shared my feelings with elderly and dear family members…in an uncertain world. I hope we have many more meetings like that, but who knows? Only God knows.
But yesterday happened. As my sister drove and I sat in the back seat (like the youngest always does :), I reflected on the day…
God put me into a really awesome family. He put high-octane blood into my veins. He didn’t make me to be a wimp. He didn’t make me to be a coward. He didn’t make me to be weak and to judge myself through others. He gave me yesterday to remind me that on so many levels, I come from greatness. I thanked God for yesterday. I thanked my family, too. I won’t forget that again. Ever.
Thank You, God, for the reminder. I needed that. 🙂