Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Family Ties

I come from a crazy sort of family. Don't we all? We have our inside stories, our tall tales (that everyone remembers differently), our larger than life characters, and a healthy dose of food and fighting. Over the years we've grown together and apart in many ways, both geographically and emotionally. The 5 of us have been through thick and thin, and while there have been times each of us has been tempted to hang up the phone and never call back, we keep coming back because, in the end, family is family. No one else has such an important part in our story as our family, be it the one we're given as a child or the one we build in a lifetime of vows, knotting us together. I say knot instead of weave because you can easily cut something woven so it frays and falls apart, but with a knot you can cut all around it and still the knot will remain, fighting attempts to untie it.
In that way, I'm a knot tied into my parents' lives, like a Hail Mary on one of my Mom's favourite rope rosaries, part of a circle of knots, leading up to the Cross. They chose to make the knot that is my life, against the better judgements of doctors. They chose to keep the knot of my life, holding it fast as it nearly untied several times. They did the same with both of my brothers. As the world pulled against us, each knot got tighter, stronger, and harder to untie. Our parents fought for us, protected us, and rejoice to let us stand alone when we were ready.
Now here I am with my own husband, tying our own chain of knots, each a little Hail Mary, their own decade in a litany of answered prayers. As our whole family takes our turn coming to the Cross, we are united and clinging fast to each other.  We are not coming unravelled, but each growing stronger as the tension tries and fails to untie our chain of knots. We hold fast to our family ties. Our lives become a prayer of trust and devotion, so ordinary and extraordinary that we get lost in rhythm. One knot after another. One day after another. Each life, each moment precious.

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