Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Out of the Ashes

I spent a lot of time in church last week. As a chorister, I had hours and hours of rehearsal time perfecting music for services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. Mostly, I go to church for the music. Every once in a while, however, other facets of the liturgy capture my attention. On Sunday, the Rector's sermon included a challenge: as we gathered at our celebratory meal, each of us was to consider where in our lives we had experienced some sort of resurrection.
I'm a sucker for challenges, but this assignment was almost scary in its relevance to my Easter. Later that day, my husband and I were among the guests at a long table--fourteen of us in all. The host and hostess were my ex-husband and his wife. Also present were our cadre of children, their spouses/fiances, and my ex's twin step-grandchildren.
It was a warm, wonderful event with great food, gifts, much laughter, and no tears. A highlight for me was having the two-year-old twins embrace me--at their parents' bidding--and call me "Aunt Mary." That moment crystallized for me how truly grateful I am that out of the pain and ashes of divorce, a group of interesting, vibrant people who might not otherwise have shared a meal now share their lives. I believe that each of us recognizes that in spite of our differences, mistakes, egos and agendas, we are inextricably woven together.
The fabric of a family is not always neat and tidy. The dynamics will be difficult to explain to the next generation. It's difficult to explain to anyone, ourselves included. There is, however, a story here with an excellent message, and I'd like to tell it, even if I have to set it in fiction to make it believable.

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