The circle grew and shrank as people came and went. We drank 18 gallons of coffee and caught up with dozens of cousins on that wide airy porch. It was fun to connect with relatives from all over and catch up on all the latest family news.
It was a typical yoder gathering in that the main activities were food and conversation.
But they were splendid samples of both.
The big rocking chairs creaked and the two cousins beside me shot sarcastic comments back and forth.
“You’d better be careful,” I warned, “pretty soon y’all won’t even like each other any more”.
“Oh, she’s my cousin. She has to like me” one of them shot back.
And I keep thinking about that.
Although that statement is obviously false judging by the many feuding families across the land, I love that it was her flippant response. I’m glad she experiences family as people who love her unconditionally.
And I though of a quote I’d read recently that said “To love someone long term is to attend a thousand funerals of who they used to be.
I don’t know who said that, but it must have been a very wise person.
The best friends, the ones who last a life time, are the ones who encourage the funerals of our former selves.
The ones who change with us.
Who celebrate and value the person who is today and not some past or idealized self that you can never be again.
Let’s learn to love well.
To hold tightly to love and loosely to what it looks like.