You would think my two sisters and I don’t get along. Not only do we live in three of our continent’s four edges–Michigan, Washington and Texas (also equally distant from our parents in North Carolina, whom we also like a good deal, by the way)–we stay in touch only fitfully, rarely calling or emailing or, now, texting.
Can I just say we’re not a very touchy-feely family?
But we DO get along. We like and admire and enjoy each other. And, as the youngest sister and the designated Sentimental One, I borrowed the idea from a friend of mine of the Sisters Getaway, to honor the occasion of our 60th birthdays, one at a time.
Our agreements: the getaway did not have to be on the actual birthday. Convenience was paramount. So was sun (especially for my winter-stricken Michigan sister). And we would gather in a place none of us knew well, so that no one had to play host.
Two years ago, we spent three days together in San Diego. This year, our middle sister picked Denver. Denver in May–hurray! Bring on that Rocky Mountain sunshine!
Oh, silly girls. Denver in May does what it likes.* Luckily for us, we had decided in advance that we wouldn’t be doing any serious hiking, since one of us is in the process of setting a date for hip replacement surgery. (Did I mention we are all getting older? Funny about that.)
*I did, however, prevail on my sisters to swing by the local REI so I could plunder their sales rack for a warm extra layer–having seriously under-packed.
So what should proceed now is a montage of of us out enjoying the sights of Denver, right? Group selfies, snapshots of delicious food and drinks. Glorious, happy vacation pics.
But my sisters are more private than I am, and that is only one of the things I love about them. So I won’t be sharing any of the pictures I took of us. I could have taken a picture of the living room of our Air B ‘n’ B house, which is where we spent most of our time. Or of a Denver bus–we rode them all over town. Or of the interior of Union Station, which, it turns out, is an extremely cozy place where you can hang out for hours for free, just gabbing and people-watching, as long as you don’t lie down on the couches.
But again…sorry. This getaway was about each other. The only real touring we did was of memory; the only real exploration of feelings; the only real adventure was peering into our mutual futures.
Still, I’m blogging about it, so SOME pictures would be useful, eh? We did wander through Denver’s not-exactly-downtown Downtown Aquarium, which was exceedingly noisy for an aquarium, but also yielded some extraordinary beauty.
Another slow wander: the Botanical Gardens. (See, we do know how to tourist!)
And for good measure, one quirky photo from downtown:
But that’s it. That’s the whole post. What I’m saying here is–love your family in your own way. Do it with, and for, the camera if you want to. Or don’t. Call or text or email, or don’t. But love ’em. Life is short. One day you’ll turn around and be 60. Or, if you’re so blessed, 80.
Me, I hope to re-post this when we’re celebrating each other’s 90th. Inshallah!
Yes, “one day you will turn around and be 60” – or 88 as I am. As the mother of three children (57,60,63) I have watched them love their family in their own way. One lives in California, one in North Carolina (but works in Norway and Sweden) and one in Norway. They phone one another at least once a week, email and send pictures, and gather in Norway (where they were born) at least once a year. They have learned to accept one another’s failings and celebrate one another’s love. I live alone (my husband is dead) in Oslo,, Norway in the winter and in a cabin in the forest in the summer, and visit each of them in their homes. I am biked in Lilthuania with 2 of them last fall and am going to bike with 2 in Finland in August. I have many blessings in my life, but the greatest is the love of my children, for me and for one another. Thank you so much, Gretchen, for writing about this!
And thank you, Connie, for this beautiful written, and lived, testimony.
I loved how you
captured some of the ways you and your sisters
have become more than just sisters–
you have also become friends.
Thank you, my friend!