The Things We Leave Behind

Moving On But Never Letting Go



Sometimes in life the stars collide. Last week, all seven of my siblings and I ended up in the same place for the first time since my youngest sister’s wedding 18 years ago. And it wasn’t actually planned. We gathered to celebrate the 60th birthday of one of my sisters (upper left) at her home in Upstate New York. She knew four sisters were coming to spend five days with her—we surprised her with our sister from Alaska to make a complete set. It was the first time in 12 years the 6 girls had been together. It is not an understatement to say we were all stunned when a car pulled into the driveway on Friday and our 2 brothers arrived for the weekend. We spent our time laughing, telling stories, floating in the pool, sitting outside after dark spotting satellites streaking through the stars, playing cards, and eating great food. What made it memorable for me was that, for the most part, it was just us, just Dona and Wally’s kids. We understood the jokes, the innuendos, and the vague references to relatives and friends, to times and people we had left behind.

This reunion may not seem amazing to those who grew up and remained close to their families. But we are spread out. Our parents died in their early 60s—much too young. So there is no anchor, no home to go home to. We have left that behind. We depend on each other to maintain the connection. My two brothers live in Minnesota; my sisters live in New York (2), South Dakota, Southern California, and Alaska. I live in Virginia.

I have to give kudos to my brother-in-law from California who survived five days in a small house with six adult women. He managed to not trip over the blow-up beds scattered throughout the house and put up with our chatter, often at a loss to understand who and what we were talking about.

WP Discovery: The Things We Leave Behind


Thanks. I still smile when I think about what a wonderful time we had. I am so glad we all still get along, even if we don’t see each other as often as we would like.

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…this sounds so amazing, and I can absolutely feel the importance of that meet up through your words… I only ever had insights into big families but maybe wished I had grown in one myself. It must be such a special bond and you’re very lucky to have that. Jokes amongst siblings are the best anyhow – no one will ever understand them, no one will ever be able to intrude into that space. I’m very glad for you all you were able to spend that “us” time together ❤

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Thanks, it was a special week. We had a wonderful time and just enjoyed each others company. I am so happy we have managed to maintain great connections over all these years. I know too many people who have little or not contact with siblings. Mine are very special to me. 🙂

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