My Mom in front, head tilted, beautiful proud smile. My husband Paul, face aglow, in his striped shirt. My oldest child, Mary Beth, the mellow counselor, next to her Gram. Above my oldest, her sister, dark-haired, flashing-eyed, dancer Cathy, the perfect middle child. Next to Cathy, my youngest, John, still in his Cool Rapper, hair-over-the-eye, phase. Directly opposite John, his dark-haired, bearded oldest brother Paul, the guitarist, still in HIS Jazzy rock star stage. Between the brothers, middle brother Pete, another rock star, more inclined to angst and Pearl Jam when he wasn't cracking jokes.
Next to Pete is family friend John Wilde, and above my husband, Laurie Weaver, another family friend, because we, with five youngsters, were ALWAYS an extended family.
Looking at these beautiful, smiling people today, I know their coming joys and sorrows, the ways they've grown, the illnesses and challenges they've endured and are enduring. The ways they've caused our family and extended family to wonderfully grow through their weddings and their children. Their children who have died. My child who has died, Peter. My smiling mother's eventual battle with dementia. Above all, I remember eternal, enduring joy and love, the incredible intimacy of knowing that traveling to where any one of them is, I am at home. That's Whitney Point, with Cathy. New York City with John. Cheektowaga with Paul. South Wales with Mary Beth. Beacon, N.Y. with Pete's wife Merritt and their children.
If you ever want to understand the concept of God as Trinity, look at a family photo. Because we were created in God's Image, and God is Family - three unique Persons, living in a perfectly loving, intimate relationship with each other in a Mystery of perfect Unity we can't begin to fathom. That's why every bit of our genetic make-up impels us into loving relationships. We weren't created to be alone!
One day our human family will become part of that much greater Family called the Trinity - and the most perfect of eternal Family Holidays will be in full swing! With no more tears, no more separations. Only togetherness.