Three sisters. Coming from three direction. For three days. October 19-21. Cape Cod.
It was our annual outing together to recapture for a brief time that sense of family when it was only us children. Since losing our brother not long after losing both parents, the bonds of family have grown even stronger between us three, even though we’re surrounded by a loving extended family. How unfair it is, in a way, that we never appreciate them for what they are–those fragile tendrils of family bonding that comes from the shared meals, road trips, and bedrooms of our youth—at the time we’re growing them. Too soon we head our separate ways as adults and, only if we’re lucky, do we recognize that these bonds have to be tended and cultivated, because they can be lost in an instant, as with our brother.
Cape Cod called to us this year. As the gods of the open air would have it, we convened within moments of planes landing and car arriving at Logan Airport from Grand Rapids, MI, Richmond, VA and Maynard, MA. We headed to a Hampton Inn in South Yarmouth, only discovering on the last day that we were but a mile from downtown Hyannis and the Harbor where the Kennedys sailed and the church they attended in their heyday. For three days, we explored Provincetown (clam chowder and kale soup), Hyannis (oyster shooters and lobster tacos), and Sandwich (beef barley soup). Marconi’s site on the Cape Cod National Seashore where the first wireless signal was sent to Europe in 1903 (a message from President Theodore Roosevelt to King Edward VII), watching glass blown as it was during the narrow window of time (from the 1820’s to the 1880’s) that the Sandwich Glass Factory was operative, and touring the Hyannis Port Harbor where the Kennedy compound came in and out of focus through the morning fog—all events we’ll treasure with that special overlay of it being a joint experience.
Sisters are remarkable things. They get better with age—we’re all much more tolerant and appreciative of each other as the years go on—and sisters offer the only opportunity we really have to do reality checks on what we remember of our past and also to draw from that past as we collectively interpret the future. As we jointly perused the Cape Cod Museum of Art, I found it remarkable that, at the end, we had all chosen the same painting as a favorite, even while we walked through and resonated with many different paintings with comments from our own life experience gained from other museums we’ve individually perused.
My sisters are a richness in my life that, even when we’re not in touch or together, still add an overlay of joy just by the fact they exist and have been a part of me ever since those small tendrils began to bind us together.