Since the second week of May my oldest sister has been visiting Devils Lake and other parts of ND. She began her journey in Fargo where she stayed with my niece for a few days, then on the weekend we met up with cousins and had a small reunion.
She came back to Devils Lake and stayed with my middle sister for a few days, stayed one day with our nephew and finally ended her stay at my house. Yesterday she flew out of Fargo and back to Washington.
In those two weeks she visited several friends and classmates, and we ate together as sisters or families for many meals. It felt a bit like vacation although I did work through the weeks. What seemed most amazing to me is that this was probably the first time the three of us had been in the same town for any length of time in over 30 years.
My sister was recently widowed and so was able to travel for longer this time. We revisited old memories and talked about what our parents meant to us; how we remembered family events differently because of our perspective.
The gap in our ages did not make for close friendships when we were growing up. In fact, the 14 years between Marcia and I meant I was still growing up when she was newly married. She lived in several different places, both in ND as well as Montana, Wisconsin and California.
Suffice it to say we developed most of our relationship through mail, phone, and more recently through email and messages. Since I have been a pastor we have had more conversations about religion and faith than I probably had with any member of my family in my whole life.
As the week progressed she began to inquire more about living in Devils Lake and what her plans would be eventually. I realize now that our parents are gone we need to be closer in proximity and in activity because our family is still small, only three children between us.
I would love for my daughter and her cousins to be able to live close to each other and share the stories they remember from their childhoods. It's unfortunate that we don't often spend the time we need to with our families when we are young and busy and we think we have all the time in the world.
I'm very blessed to have all of my immediate family living in ND. Now we will work on getting Marcia back in the state and who knows, maybe none of our kids will ever move away!