I used to organize an annual event called the Sibling Dinner, where my sister and brother and their respective spouses would come over our place for dinner. When Allan and I started working on weekends, this got a bit unwieldy, although we managed to keep it up for a year or two more. After a while, because of all our differing schedules, the Sibling Dinner became too complicated, and I stopped trying to bring the six of us together. (Although we all see each other in various combinations, whenever possible.)
Last night was the last of the New York Sibling Dinners. My brother and sister-in-law (who needs no in-law qualification, we have known each other since I was 13), my sister and her husband (who is also a very old friend of mine), and Allan and I, had dinner at this lovely restaurant in Ft. Tryon Park, which is our backyard. (Thank you, Bette Midler!) We sat in the patio garden, drank much wine, and thoroughly enjoyed each other's company.
It was a tough goodbye. My sister especially was very emotional, and I found myself doing something I hate when people do to me: saying, "Don't be sad". Of course she said, "I am sad." Which made me realize what I was doing, so I replied, "Well then be sad." She and I are very close, and of course we always will be, no matter where we live. But hey, this is big for us, and it was an occasion to shed a tear.
My sister-in-law (who reads wtmc!) and my brother may one day follow our path and live in Vancouver. We shall see. Meanwhile I'll expect to see everyone in Port Credit, and in New York or New Jersey when we visit.
I feel very fortunate to have family that I both like and love. I certainly couldn't say that about all my family all my life. Like many people, I've had my share of familial difficulties. But the six of us who had dinner tonight love each other and enjoy each other's company as friends, which is really special.
Now it's 3:00 a.m. After sleeping a few hours, I'm wide awake, which happens to me when I drink a lot of wine. Buster wandered in, looking for me, and is now sleeping beside my desk.
Buster's doing really well, by the way. He's already gained a bit of weight back, and he seems to have stabilized, thanks to an array of medications. The vet makes sure I understand that we are not out of the woods in the long-term. But the short-term looks good, and I'm grateful for that.