Tuesday, May 11, 2010


When an estrangement in a family finally comes to an end, I’ve found the reunion takes place in stages.  First, there’s that rush of intense feeling that floods your soul but must be kept tamped down, for fear of scaring off the very one you are so excited to see.  Then, over time, you are able to share meaningful conversations, comparing notes on what went wrong and who said what and aren’t you glad it’s all over now?  This is followed by a strange period of awkwardness.  Suddenly it becomes gallingly apparent that your lives have not stopped since you last were in contact.  Each person has grown, changed, developed into a different version of the one you once knew.  There’s an acknowledgement that relationships will have to be rebuilt and mended over time, not instantly repaired no matter how much love is in the equation.  But finally, at long last, there comes a time when you know the reunion is complete – when you’re sharing a simple moment of no consequence, your hands immersed in a sink full of soapy dishwater, your sister standing at your side with a tea towel ready to dry, sharing a task you’ve shared hundreds of times before, and the years roll back as if there never was a gap of 17years between this sink load of dishes and the last.

Painting by Iranian artist Iman Maleki.


  1. I look forward to the story behind the story. :)

  2. That is beautiful...the sentiment and the picture. I am happy for you.

  3. Thank you for visiting my blog and the comment. I read several of yours and will comment on all here. Estrangement within a family is difficult. My father and his half-sister became estranged. She died of cancer and he never went to see her. Of course, she went out cursing his name. I don't understand it and I stayed out of it. I am really glad that and your sister are making up and working it out. I liked your orchid analogy. That works with jobs, relationships, so many of aspects of life... And I love Cesar. We have dogs and we have dog issues. Boy, I was holding my breath on that muskrat deal. Good for you just for holding it together!

  4. Thank-you all for your kind words.

    Purple Cow, I have recently discovered Iman Maleki's paintings and find them quite beautiful. This one in particular reminds me a great deal of my sister and I, for a variety of reasons. And I must confess that I got the inspiration for using a painting from your own blog where you do that so very creatively!

    Robin, thank-you also. It's nice to hear from a fellow dog-owner that I wasn't a complete failure in that situation. And thanks for your kind words about my sister too. I suspect the "making up and working it out" part will probably be an ongoing process for the rest of our lives, but our family is so very relieved to have her back in our lives.



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