I am in transit this weekend- a boomerang trip to Detroit. It is the first Joliat holiday without our fearless leader, and my Motor City siblings wanted to unite for a nice family dinner. I had opted out, knowing that I had over decorated, under shopped, and craved some time nestled in my glimmery world. Judy (Park Ridge) decided to take the train over; still I resisted. Last Sunday I received a text message from Paul, #5 of the six. He said, ” the strongest chain is only as powerful as its weakest link. You are the weakest link. Come to Detroit….” I did not answer. Monday night he called me as I shopped frantically at Oakbrook. I teased him about the weakest link business, and he attributed it to his membership in Sigma Chi. He said it worked on him, and he had used it since college.
Who likes to be the weakest link? Not me. He had me.
Steve likes to drive, and he likes my family, and so a road trip was born. We hit the Blackhawks game, and are now in New Buffalo. Tomorrow we drive 220 miles, eat, have dessert at my sisters, go to bed, and drive home to Chicago. I will love every moment of it. Steve will tolerate it, tire of it, ridicule me on his podcast…but he will do it for me. It is my best Christmas present.
We have had a minor setback here at the summer place: the built in refrigerator made a God awful sound when we turned the water on. And kept on making it. We crawled under the stairs looking for the water shut off for the ice maker, and surmised that it was behind the box. It was a nasty job, but Steve managed to un-wedge it, disconnect it, and mop up. It was not the scenario we had in mind for the late night in New Buffalo. We had already missed the closing time at McDonalds, and Steve was contenting himself with a freezer burned microwave pot pie. Crawling, mopping and repairing were not on the to-do list.
But here we are, on our way. This dinner is more than a meal, it is a reminder that we have navigated our father’s death with great love, teamwork, and an absence of acrimony and dispute. Dad would be proud that we are a team. We have held on to each other as Paul’s son went to West Point, and as Mike had his heart repaired. We are there for each other, 6 different personalities committed to a life as a circle, not a pyramid. There will be more challenges, and there will be more joy. We just need to link the pieces together, for one night. I will not be the weak spot. Thanks to my wanderlusting husband, I will be there to celebrate God’s ( and my parents’) amazing blessing, family. Then I will ricochet back to Chicago to enjoy the same joy with my kids. It is a Wonderful Life.
More to come…
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