Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Miracle Year: A Reunion?

"Welcome to the doorway. What is on the other

side? It's not for you or me to say, because the

blind keep leading the blind until the end.

Now here's where all things change. Where no

one, no one's ever going to stay the same again."

Kan'Nal, Dreamwalker: All Things Change

For several years I’d been telling my brother Steve that we should take a trip to Minnesota. I had been back several times as an adult: when my grandfather died in a plowing accident in the 70’s, a couple of business trips in the 80’s, the wedding of a cousin on my dad’s side in the 90’s. So I’ve had several opportunities to visit my mother’s grave, something my brother Steve – born shortly before our mother died -- had never experienced. I had always thought it might give him some small amount of closure.

Although we talked about it early in the summer for several years in a row, somehow I knew it would be this year. My art shows – where I’d either been accepted or waitlisted -- were spaced in such a manner that it was feasible. We had the will, the time and the means.

(To the left: my mom's family - sister Rhoda and 6 brothers including twins Neil & Harlen the same height. Is my mother the one taking the picture?) So when my cousin Steve emails me and leaves his phone number, I still think a while about calling. I have absolutely no idea what I’m playing with here, no point of reference. Cousin Steve’s a complete stranger, my mother dead several years before he was born. I’ve lived a long time without any communication from ‘the other side’ and it wasn’t necessarily bad. I think, maybe, don’t fix it if it ain’t broke, eh?

A couple of weeks later, after a nice glass of California Pinot Noir, I decide to call. No answer. I leave a message. A few evenings later, Steve calls me back. It’s not a chatty ‘girl conversation’ (how quickly we gals can get into those) but not awkward either. Steve tells me about his dad’s last days and that one of the original siblings is still alive -- Neil, his dad’s twin. I share with him that my brother and I have been talking about heading to Minnesota, maybe in July. Winding down, he says he’ll put me in contact with some of the other cousins.

(To the right: My Uncle Don (Connie's dad), my brother Steve and me) A day or two later, I get a short but welcoming email from my cousin Connie. Her dad, my mother's brother Don, had been my favorite uncle when I was little. Tall and handsome, always ready to pick us up and throw us in the air, he made me gasp and giggle.

And then, OMG. I discover Connie's masterminding the first ever Husom family reunion, scheduled for August 23, 2009. Will I be there? I say I think I’d walk if I had to.

The following day or two I get an email from my cousin Sandy. Another OMG.

To be continued...

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