This is my mother’s favorite aunt ever, in the entire world.
These are four very well behaved teenagers politely enduring womens-talk:
This is my brother’s wife, who was my best friend since junior high school:
This is me and my baby brother:
We are in Kansas City, for our turn to go through the new temple tonight. Our aunt was very sweet to feed us and let us rest and visit, and it was so good to see her.
I haven’t seen her since eighth grade.
A lot has happened since eighth grade.
She was very gracious in hearing the story of my return to the family, telling me how “good” I was as a child and listening to how I just gave up trying when “good” could no longer save everyone. We shared with her the miracles of healing in our family, and we basked in the love of our mother who has welcomed us all home – and delighted in her happiness a she got to be with her aunt for a few precious hours.
It is good to be a family, and we have grown as a family.
We talked about cochlear implants, for her husband had one, and told stories about mom and Jess learning sign language.
We remembered past experiences we shared, caught up on family news, and even read an old essay I had written as a junior in high school. Hilarious, my young-poet-self.
Mom told her about the temple, and her aunt got to know all the new kids in our family, whom they warned about the dangers of smoking. The kids shared stories from school, memories, and the pearls of wisdom they already have.
It was family time, and it was my family, and I love them.
It was a gathering, you see, a gathering of families, which is the first promise of the temple.
And today, this once, we all go together.