We gathered last weekend in the family home in memory of my Mother's death, fifteen years ago. My sisters and I try to make it somehow every year. This is more to make my father happy than for any ritualistic remembrance.
In keeping with my mother's nature, more people than planned land up for lunch. Relatives and friends drop in unknowingly and it is a joyous occasion.
We hardly sit and recall stuff about my mother. Its all about life and what is happening now.
But it does bring home to me how lucky I am to have family with such strong bonds. We have our misunderstandings, our gossip, our 'you know what she did'? but in times of trouble and celebration, everyone is there.
And extremely lucky to be born to parents who were and are very kind people. It was the old -fashioned type of household, where relatives come in times of trouble and stay on for months and years; where guests always stay to have a meal, where kids get turned out of beds and baths to make room for others; where there is no question of not enough room or not enough to eat or the time not being convenient - where each persons' problems are not his own but of the whole family.
Now, someone called to say my 92 year old aunt has fractured her arm, while cooking. And my 82 year old father is rather distraught.But, neighbours have all volunteered to do different things. Someone has sent an ambulance; one person has gone with her to the hospital accompanied by the sweeper and someone else's driver, somebody has brought food. Its amazing. And extremely heart warming.
The kindness you show to people comes back to you in so many ways.