|Drawing Via homemakertales blogspot.|
As my husband's extended family gathers for a family reunion, my thoughts have turned to what it means to be part of a family. Most families I know are pretty close, keeping in touch for special occasions, visiting each other on holidays, etc. But I have rarely seen three sisters as close as the Neatherlin girls.
|Photograph by Kyle Jeffers|
Through the last almost ninety years, although leaving in different cities, Dorothy, Beth, and Irma wrote letters, talked on the telephone, and learned to use an IPad and computers to keep in touch. The daughters of conservative Methodist parents, and descended from a long line of preachers who built churches, and founded seminaries and colleges, it is no wonder that their faith bound them together.
|L-R Irma, Dorothy, and Beth, photograph by Kyle Jeffers|
Ever joyful, playful, and kind, each of them nourished their families and taught them to care for others.
This reunion will be the first one without the two oldest, Dorothy and Beth, who both recently died within a few months of each other. The remaining sister, Irma, is now the reigning matriarch of the Neatherlin clan. I imagine Irma would agree with the poet and writer, Emily Dickenson, "I would like more sisters, that the taking out of one, might not leave such stillness."
We will celebrate Dorothy's life at a Memorial Service at St. Mark's on the Mesa on Thursday morning, July 19 at 10:00 a.m.
As part of the family reunion, Beth's descendents will lead "Memories of Beth" at our house on Friday evening.
My own sister, Rosalind, is my closest friend. I have a host of wonderful friends, but I always call my sister with wonderful news or if I am sad. She knows me better than anyone and loves me still. How many of you consider your sister your best friend? I am counting on Rosalind to sit in rocking chairs with me at the nursing home and help me remember my youth.