Sunday, May 20, 2007

Boys to Men

Like I've said, I really love watching my family work around the house. Today they were at it again trying to get the landscaping mulched. It's taken longer than usual to tackle the yard work; we were delayed by a lot of rain last week.

We buried Robert's father this week after a long illness. He lingered in the hospital for months and did not die well. It has been hard on everyone, especially Robert, for reasons I can't elaborate on here. Robert says he feels like the last pillar standing under a grand family porch. One by one the other men in our family have been knocked down and he bears the weight alone. But, he adds, the next generation of men are readying to take their place under the structure. Our sons. Three nephews. Someday, the husbands of our young women. This is the way it is--holding it up until the young can add their support.

Later this afternoon we attended our nephew, Joe's, high school graduation. After a long week of intense family obligations related to the funeral, everyone was looking forward to a day off (or at least a day to work at home), but here was one more thing. We hurried to the ceremony to be there for Joe whose own father can't be there, can never be anywhere again for Joe, he being one of the pillars knocked away too early. I sat next to my two sons so big and strong and thought about Joe and how well he's grown and secretly welcomed him to the ranks. He takes his place with the men in the family and that feels so right and satisfying to me.

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