I’m still grinning from a lovely three day retreat that my sister and I took last week. She lives in another state, so we met in the Portland airport and drove together to Breitenbush Hot Springs. We hiked in the luscious hills, relaxed in the hot springs, got massages, did yoga, ate quantities of food that other people prepared for us, and had plenty of time to talk and read and enjoy each others’ company.
My sister is an amazing and accomplished woman. Her professional work benefits farm workers and their children, she is also a musician, and she raised two of my favorite people in the world–my nieces.
Near the end of our restorative time together it hit me: this moment–this happiness and peace and richness in our lives–was unimaginable when we were children in a dysfunctional and destructive nuclear family. We really have come a long, long way. I wished I could reach back in time and tell those two little girls, “Some day this will be yours!”
Recently I’ve been in contact with a second cousin of ours. She told me a family story I had never heard before.
In the 1930’s our great aunt found out that her daughter had been molested by a relative. Despite her own disability, poverty, and the attitudes of the era, she hired a lawyer, pursued the case, and sent the offender to jail.
We’d never even know this about her! My sis and I took one evening of our vacation to celebrate and commemorate this great aunt, who we have always remembered fondly as a loving and kind presence when we were young.Â What a hero for us both!