This week my siblings and I are converging on Yosemite for our first family reunion without Mom.
She was the linchpin that tied us all together. Woven of that sterner, sturdier stuff of the Greatest Generation, Mom cast it in our DNA that family rose above the trivial, day to day squabbles. She succeeded in keeping us a close-knit family and without her now, we are carrying on in her memory.
After our Dad passed away in 2001, we decided to venture someplace with Mom every year for her birthday. With two siblings on the East coast and two on the West, over the years we’ve bounced back and forth from one side of the country to the other.
She felt the wind in her hair in the back of a pink convertible Jeep as we explored ancient Indian cliff dwellings in Sedona. She again had her hair tousled on a stormy weekend on Sanibel Island in Florida. We explored her old haunts in Bermuda, a place she and my Dad loved. We took her to Lake Las Vegas, safely outside of the notorious city, in boon times when million dollar homes were popping up a dime a dozen around the lake and stayed in the Ritz Carleton which is now boarded up. At The Breakers in Palm Beach, Mom’s greatest pleasure was taking in the magnificent view of the ocean from her bedroom.
So, we are off to Yosemite to hike in the footsteps of the great naturalist and environmentalist, John Muir. As kids, we were like little billy goats scrambling up the Presidential Range in New Hampshire, the Green Mountains of Vermont, and the Adirondacks in New York.
We are a less nimble bunch now , but we will walk too, in the footsteps of our parents.