Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Other Mom

Back to Neff Road. I have missed writing. So much to share with a brain rattling with words and images. Thank you for coming back down the lane again to meet me. I have missed you.

She walked through the gate last Wednesday. Suddenly the stress I’d felt over the last year was gone, and I was home again. Another of James’s mothers had arrived.

There is nothing quite like sisters. They help raise you when you are little, torment you when you are older, add you to their lives when they are married and embrace you the rest of your life with unswayable love. Sisters.

It wasn’t a journey I’m sure she really wanted to make in the dead of winter leaving her warm nest in Key West. Having just been home to Indiana for Christmas, this was another huge expense. Yet here she was full of positive energy. I was thankful.

June had never been the social butterfly of this threesome of sisters. I was worried that she would feel out of her comfort zone, but she tossed all aside and grab hold of the reins holding me to task, making me laugh when I was stressed and embracing those she knew and those she did not. I am still beaming with pride at my older sister, especially when I saw her on the dance floor having the time of her life.

When James was in college at Northwestern in Chicago, his Auntie June would be his mom away from home. He would drive to her house on holidays and days he needed to escape campus life hanging with his Auntie sometimes bringing friends along to laugh and relax. She became his companion going with him to Toronto to see his friend, Heather Headley, in Ragtime before it went to Broadway. She ended up there in Aida, but nonetheless, they shared this special time together. June drove to the farm with her nephew to visit Mom and Dad. Because of her, Neff Road became more deeply embedded in my son’s heart.

When James graduated from Northwestern, June was at my side sharing this son or ours. And, on January 16th, my son took his aunt to a seat of importance behind his mother, seating this dear, special ‘mother of the groom’.

Saying ‘good-bye’ is never easy for my sister and I. Usually, I toss her from the car or she disappears into a crowd at the last minute. ‘Good-bye’ is not easy. I hugged her not wanting to let go and kissed her once more. Thank goodness I will see her in March or my heart would have cracked.

It is fair to say that I love my sister a bit more. Her blanket of love made this wedding of my youngest child a blanket warming me, her niece, her nephew, her grandnieces with unending warmth.

Once more Neff Road had come home to me.

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