Missing My Family

Posted by Cecilia Leger on 4:07 PM

I missed a call from my dad last night. I went to bed early and never heard the phone ring. My best memories, and my best self, are wrapped up in the warmth of my family’s love and acceptance. I’m not sure who I would be if they had not come into my life.

I remember my three brothers as little boys, fresh smelling from their bath, fighting for their spot next to me on the couch so I could read them a bed time story. Warm, wriggly little bodies pressed up against me, all wonder and delight. Better still, on the nights when dad was home from work, I remember all of us piling on top of mom and dad’s bed so that he could read.

I had read The Chronicles of Narnia on my own when I’d discovered them in high school….but I didn’t learn to love the books until college when dad’s voice rumbled as Aslan and crawled as Puddleglum. Because of dad, I long for a knight in shining armor who will postpone the dragon wars while he reads to me in bed (Craig, I don’t want to hear any snide remarks about this).

My sweetest memory involves David, the oldest of my brothers, and Matthew, the youngest. David was seven at the time and Matthew four. I was in the kitchen washing dishes after dinner and I could hear them playing Stratego in the living room. I heard David gleefully tell Matthew, “Matt, in three more moves I’m going to kill you!” There was silence.

Then David repeated, “Matt, in three more moves I’m going to kill you!” More silence.

Finally I heard Matthew’s tearful reply, “But David, couldn’t we just be friends?”

Today, my boys are men who tower over me. They love lifting me off the ground when they hug me hello and we still play games and watch TV as a family, a tradition that started when we’d have “picnics” of fruit and popcorn while watching Star Trek on Saturday nights.

There are family stories we tell and retell without tiring of them: like the time Matthew (three at the time) opened the front door for Uncle Dave and roared, “I am the man in black! You killed my father; prepare to die!” before running off with his imaginary sword. (Yes, the entire family still walks around quoting lines from The Princess Bride!) And the time I sent seven-year old Steven to his room for a five minute time-out where he calmly went to sleep after I forgot him there. And how mom had to throw away all my baseball caps, and then the boys’ baseball caps, in her unending quest to turn me into a girl!

This is the house where I love to bring my friends. For years now, I have dragged many people through the front door and dropped them at mom and dad’s feet, certain that they would find the same welcoming love that’s been given to me. I have brought friends home for Christmas and Thanksgiving unannounced; on two separate occasions dad has spent Christmas Eve in his woodworking shop making last-minute presents for my guests so that they’d have something to open on Christmas morning and wouldn’t feel left out of the festivities.

Theirs is the bosom where I hide when I need a place to run to. And theirs the arms that hold me when I need to cry over some boy who’s broken my heart. Theirs are the voices of encouragement I hear whenever I try something new; and the voices telling me they’re still proud of me whenever I fail. They are the ones who first said I was beautiful and kept repeating it until I believed they meant it.

I take them all for granted, of course. I’m self-centered and I don’t call or visit as often as I should. They are well-acquainted with all my faults and I push against the boundaries of their love, trying to find the limits. I haven’t yet.

I missed dad’s call last night. So this weekend, I’m going home.

(Pictured below: My sisters--Francina, Kimberly, and Nandini)


More please. Sorry I've been out of touch. Soooo much going on. We'll chat soon. But I do keep up with your blog and it always makes me smile.

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