By Lorry Myers
I have five brothers and sisters who are scattered near and far. When our father died a few years ago, the six of us pledged that each year, we schedule time together. No grandkids or great-grandkids, no one but my mother, her six children and their spouses.
When my children were little, my parents owned a small cabin at the Lake of the Ozark so that is where we spent our time together. We fished, we floated, we filled that small house with family. When everyone went home, the lake house was quiet and my parents would set on the dock and take in the setting sun, content with their place in life.
Those were the days.
My eighty-seven-year old mother was thrilled when I asked her if she wanted to go back to the Lake. I’d found a house that had bedrooms and bathrooms for everyone. It sat on a quiet cove with a dock to sit or fish and limited steps to get my mother down to the water. Right after the first of the year, I checked the date, booked the house and reserved a pontoon boat that would leisurely seat us all.
“Now.” my mother said, after I told her in January that we were going to the Lake in June. “Now I have a reason to keep going.”
When the check-in date arrived, we arrived in waves; brothers and sisters, in-laws and out-laws. Coolers and suitcases, kissing and hugging, and in the center of it all was my mother.
She was remembering those days.
We didn’t go shopping or out to eat; the lake, my mother and each other was all we needed. Lawn chairs on the dock offered a peaceful view along with a ladder in and out of the water. On the boat, we puttered around, picking out extravagant lake houses we would own if we won the lottery. My mothered looked beautiful sitting in that boat with the setting sun behind her.
She was remembering another lake house.
When my brothers and sisters get together, we tend to reminisce about growing up. We tell stories my mother has never heard and probably wishes she never had. We remember old friends and lost relatives and teachers we had in common. My brothers and sisters know my stories, my blunders, and my tales better left untold.
Despite all that, they still love me.
For the complete column, see the week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.