The Ties That Bind


"Yes?" She looked at me expectantly.

"I'm your cousin, Laura"

Peggy stood up and we embraced for a good 30 seconds. Figuring backwards it seems that it's been possibly 35 years since we last saw each other. When I was young I was always stunned when my mom would say it had been years since she had seen this friend or that family member. I swore that would never be the case for me. Hah!

Approximately 45 years ago, Peggy's mom picked up and left her husband, left Michigan and fled to Texas. She'd had enough of the physical abuse and alcoholic behaviors that threw such chaos into their home. Peggy's mom was my mom's only sibling and married someone just like her Dad, our grandfather. That could be an honor in some homes, but in Peggy's home it left only scars and broken hearts. Another family generation fractured by alcohol and all the demons that come along for the ride.

Here we were so many years later at a family wedding, rapidly comparing notes of who lives where, what marriages were performed, the children that came along and the deaths that occurred much to early. More importantly we talked about what hurts are hidden in our hearts. It's funny how some family relationships never gel even though you're related, while others seem as natural as having just met for lunch every week for years. This reconnection came very naturally. Mostly what reconnected us, was being able to talk of our heartaches with nary a thought of judging or fear of rejection. Just love and prayers for our children that keep us on our knees often.

The ties that bind are more than blood and if prayer's involved it's the strongest one yet.

"By yourself you're unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped."

Ecclesiastes 4:11-13, The Message