Except for our cousins Judy and Steve who moved away in 1975, I’ve not had family members living nearby for more than 40 years. This year, I have seven.
It started when my half-sister’s grandson Jonathan moved here a year ago from New Orleans for cancer treatment. His parents (my half-niece Amy and her husband Ken) moved to Boston from Minnesota to help him and his young family. They too have now been here a year. And then in January, my half-sister Florence, age 99, moved here to be near her daughter Amy.
Last Sunday, everybody came to our house for lunch. Even Jonathan’s mother-in-law joined us. Our guests’ ages ranged from three to ninety-nine. Four generations, all related to me.
Florence, at 99, has trouble hearing, even when she’s wearing her hearing aids and she needs a walker. Elliot at three is a ball of energy. His brother Adam, at five is never without a book.
But food is a great age equalizer, and we had plenty of that. Even better, we played Wits and Wagers, a marvelous game for all ages. Except for some sofa pillows out of place, our home was none the worse for wear when everybody left at four o’clock.
My half-family is here for a sad reason. But we still have fun together, and that is gratifying.