The drive was not so long from Rocky Point, MX, where I currently live on The Sea of Cortez, to Oceanside, California where our family had a week-long get-together at a lovely resort hotel on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The family members were sharing lovely suites on the same floor of the resort, meeting each night in a larger communal suite where we all, old, medium-old, young, grandparents, parents, kids, grand-kids, all frolicked passionately and not so passionately with our faithful libations, some timeless tales and experiences re-lived, heard in an earlier time but always fun and laughable when heard again… “Remember the night when we…” — well, you get the setting…
Some of us played golf at Torrey Pines (South Course) – amend that to read, the writer of this post tried to play a few holes while the other three golf members did play all eighteen holes – I rode in the cart the final nine holes as the rust on my game was beyond removal. It was nonetheless a beautiful day of sunshine and there was scenery that will be forever etched in the memory room – and, there were some really good golf shots by some of the participants.
There were discussions, even the dreaded never-to-be mentioned politics and religion. We talked about the disabled, the hungry, the poor, the sick, all those who longed for better lives. We prayed for those less fortunate than we. We felt no special favor or privilege that we could come together as a family. We worked hard for what we had or for what it was we were seeking. We talked about our country and our world, the new technologies, the new ‘machines,’ where we might be heading. We had our views but we had no real answers to the world’s problems. We all wished for a world of love and peace, but understood the myriad of differences among all people made this universal dream likely an impossibility. No one came away bloody. Everyone claimed their love for each other after all was said and done. Some California friends and neighbors from years past dropped by for drinks and dinner a couple of nights – and, yep, we got to hear some of the same stories we heard on previous nights.
Each new day brought the ocean mist that would burn off by mid-morning, bringing the world famous California sun. Some of us went to see the old mission at San Luis Rey. Some walked the pier at Oceanside and ultimately sunbathed at the beach. Each day brought some new activities, together as a family and apart.
For me, it was somewhat a study in the family dynamic. There were people who cared for each other very much, each different and yet alike, each speaking of things that meant a lot or not a twit, each with pure hearts and noble ambitions, an entire group of which it is a matter of pride for me to belong. My thoughts often wandered off to my own childhood, not always the best of memories but plenty that gave feelings of warmth. I thought of my Mom, my Dad, and my sister. They are no longer with me, hopefully up there with ‘Clarence’ and his bells, but I find it still so easy to miss them, along with two sets of loving grandparents that attended me in my youth.
This little family get-together had most of the right ingredients… There were some family members not there who were missed and loved. I can also hope that a few friendly ghosts of my youth were nearby – just wish I could have had some special moments with them again – thto tell them how much I truly loved them.
There are weeks that bring us blessings. There are weeks that bring us sadness. This week of family was special to me. They were moments perhaps better remembered in diaries than in public blogs, but, in watching the dynamic of these special family members for a week renewed some wishes I have for other families who might not be so lucky to get together on a California beach, who might be struggling to pay their bills, who might very well feel that this week of which I speak is exclusionary tripe — and, really, who could blame them? If there is a message here, it is that all families hit some ugly times. I know that my family did. There is also the message of hope – though it might seem to be dwindling for some, try to hold on to it. Some of us are lucky. Some of us, not so much. But we are all part of a whole, part of the universal scheme of things. Maybe we all can never quite get together but we can remember that we are part of a great big dynamic – we are all part of ‘the passing parade.’
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