Days Seven & Eight
That evening, we returned our rental car, borrowed Geoffrey’s van, and headed north and west of Minneapolis. My youngest sister, Sarah, had organized a rare and treasured event: A sisters’ dinner and Mike was included. We met at Sarah’s house in Anoka, the town where we grew up. Two Yellow Birds welcomed us by the front door.
Sarah’s husband, Mark, announced, “I’m in charge of the kitchen tonight. So, you ladies help yourselves to a glass of wine and move on to the other room.” Wow! Sometimes we do as we’re told.
The sisters noisily gathered in a room far away from the kitchen, the cooking, the cleaning and the phone. There was even a door between the rooms, and it was closed. The explosion was spontaneous, stories and laughter, giggling till we cried. Various versions of the same childhood incidents are always fascinating, never dull. There were no stoplights, no schedules and no rush to do anything else. I was completely at home, relaxed and enjoying that old familiar rollicking fun with my three incredibly smart sisters (Liz, the prosecutor, missed it; she was in trial).
Since we moved to Bellingham, I don’t see my sisters often enough to refuel. So, I was genuinely enthralled by their current achievements and awesome insights. I was reminded how proud I am to know them, each and every one. Among other sisterly revelations, Sarah introduced us to her new passion: taekwondo. To my utter amazement, she demonstrated an impressive basic kick and punch technique, a maneuver so fast, I wouldn’t want to be at the receiving end for anything.
And all the while, out in the kitchen, Mark, prepared dinner, set the table, lit the candles, opened the wine and happily visited with Mike.
He even played the dulcimer, to Mike’s total surprise and enchantment.
The entire evening was invigorating, an open, uninterrupted opportunity for the sisters to make vital connections through our common experiences and shared hopes for our children and grandchildren.
In spite of our hectic schedule of musical beds and bathrooms, three different cars, a change in cooks and diet, hot, humid weather, so far so good. Mike was adjusting better than he imagined. It seemed he needed this exercise, stretching his perceived limitations. And that was good, because in the next three days, we were headed for one lollapalooza of a multi-generational, multi-sensory Parkinson’s-challenging event.