I haven’t smiled a whole lot this week, not even by my typical grumpy standards, but I got one just now I’m compelled to share a little of. Given the near comic proportions of my crapfest of a week, it was one of the bigger surprises I’ve had in a while.
Facebook sometimes features the darnedest conversations, tonight was no exception as a topic turned to approaches to frying bologna. (Yeah, you read that right) Now it’s not the first conversation I’ve had about the particular delicacy and I doubt it’ll be the last but that’s not really the smiling part though.
See, that conversation was with my cousin Robert, who is currently kicking butt getting some health issues straightened out. Like a lot of families these days, we’re kinda geographically scattered about so I don’t know that either of us could name exactly when we saw each other last nor when we’ll see each other next. There was just something about that conversation that struck me both familiar & familial. And then I started thinking about just how many cousins I’d seen on FB this week – on both sides of my family – how many different things I at least know about ’cause we’re all online, some with comments swapped back & forth, others warranting a quick Like, other stuff untouched but still absorbed.
But back to the bologna.
In my mind’s ear I could just hear both of his folks chipping in on that conversation, most likely with more wisdom on the subject than me & him have combined, with something that would produce a better sandwich in the end. And I could just hear Pop (my maternal grandfather for the uninitiated) getting in on it, probably wondering out loud how anybody could eat bologna without tearing their stomach up. And all of that food talk would have inevitably led to some other food topic, and then to something else, and to something else and before we knew it hours would have passed. Kinda like times used to be.
Long about there in my train of thought is where I smiled. Cause in my mind’s eye I knew those folks gone on before us would have smiled about the whole thing. And, I do believe, so would have the mutual ancestor that laid up prayers for me & Robert before either of us was ever born. And that, for me, somewhere contains a lot of what family really means.
Just so happened tonight it was fried food and a maternal cousin. Could have been any subject, could have been either side, could have been any of a variety of cousins … similar outcome would have been a similar smile. And that, too, is family.