So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
“Our sister, may you increase
to thousands upon thousands;
may your offspring possess
the cities of their enemies.”
Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
- Genesis 24:59-61
I have written quite a bit about our vacation lately. One thing that I have not spent much time in discussing is a visit with my sister. Our son did not want to go, but we packed the grandchildren into the SUV and left our son and his wife to their own endeavors. We had a very enjoyable afternoon. I think the other two slept.
My sister is on a first name basis with the owner of the Mexican Restaurant where we met for dinner. It is very close to where my brother-in-law taught school for many years, long before the restaurant was built. And now the owner is opening more restaurants in other towns in the area. We got the dining room for large groups and stayed for a few hours, swapping stories, mostly true, and having my brother-in-law and my sister pass along wisdom to us. After all, she is eleven years older than I am. Her upcoming birthday will have an “8” and a “0” in it, but you can arrange those in any way that you wish. I might get in trouble if I went further. Maybe I already went too far…
In the photograph is my wife and three grandchildren that you may already recognize. The gray-bearded gentleman in the middle is my brother-in-law, a retired Air Force tech sergeant, a retired school teacher, and simply tired and re-tired. As for the others, my niece is next to my wife, her niece is next to her, and the young girl with glasses is that niece’s niece. In other words, living with my sister is her daughter, a daughter of her son, and the daughter of the granddaughter’s sister. Why they are all under one roof gets complicated, but life is complicated. But all of them being together is part of why my sister is so blessed.
She and her husband do not get around as easily as they once did. It was a chore for them to get to the restaurant and their granddaughter did much of the helping to get them there.
My sister’s daughter was off from work, studying to take the bar exam again, and maybe I can remember to insert the results here. By the time this gets posted, the results will be in the past, the taking of the exam already is past tense upon this writing. After marrying and moving to Scotland, my niece weathered the storm of being abandoned by her husband, teaching in Edinburgh, Scotland for many years, and then returning home to start a new career. She is the one in the photo born the furthest north. She was born when my brother-in-law was stationed in the Air Force on the upper peninsula of Michigan. Yes, she was born, not only a Michigander, but a Upper (pronounced You-per). She is a blessing in that she has worked with her niece and great-niece in helping them further their education and keeping the odd mixture of generations on track.
Sorry, my niece still has not heard whether she passed the exam.
Of course, my sister’s great-granddaughter provides “life.” She provides energy that many of the others do not have. She provides wide-eyed excitement, ready for each new challenge. She may occasionally provide tears, but she provides laughter as well.
My sister was a speech therapist in the school system, now retired. She can be demanding at times, and mumbling is not allowed. But I loved my time with her, and I hope my wife and I can get the health issues stabilized so that we can focus our energy on downsizing and moving to Tennessee near our son. Then, we can visit my sister more often.
Sometimes you do not know what blessings you have until you do not have them anymore. I am not quite ready for that, but even that is in God’s hands with His timing.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.