Everyone has those great trips, where memories are made, where there is laughter, thoughts, wine and good times. I went to Washington DC recently to visit one of my older sisters. It had been a long time since we really spoke and talked of things, of both little and great importance. We have not been overly close, though I do suspect a mutual curiosity. It was the perfect time.
Friday was delicious home made dinner followed by wine and conversation and the family dinner table. Saturday was venturing into the city, seeing the monuments. Jefferson was my favorite, though the Vietnam Wall had the biggest affect on me. To actually see that many names, to take your finger and touch the wall, touch the names of the young men, was very powerful. Lincoln and FDR Memorials were my favorites too. The history of these monuments, and that of these men, and of this country. They truly loved and believed in this country, something that is surely lacking now.
There was the jump on and off buses, the Zen of the FDR and why it is her favorite. There was the Capital Building and the National Archives. There were different people walking, laughing and touristing, just like us, though my sister lives in the area. She made sure that I read the history and saw cool things, that she herself had seen many times. She was patient with me, as I looked around, wide-eyed and reading so many of the quotes and inscriptions. She was just like a big sister. And it was very nice.
Next was the Smithsonian Museum of Space and Air. And again she was so patient as I looked and read everything. She had been there too many times to count, because that is where everyone wants to go, including me. Her favorite was the Natural History Museum (hope I have that right). I wanted to go not only to see space suits and things like the space shuttle (which is not actually there, but they do have pieces of it), but to see part of what our father worked on so many years ago when he lived in DC. He worked on ballistic Missiles called Nike-Zeus, Atlas and a few other things. They really didn’t have much there that he worked on, but it was very interesting to see the things that he might have worked on, things his friends might have worked on. The day came to a close over a funny movie and Chinese take out.
We went to church the next morning, something I needed, my should needed and my heart needed. Going to church together was a quietly sweet experience.
And I left with so much than with what I came. In addition to great conversations about life, love, family, faith, God, new experiences that are coming, some recipes and instructions for prayer and meditation, I left with wonderful memories and a new appreciation for someone I am so glad I had the chance and took the time to get to know better. My only regret is that I did not make the trip sooner.
In this day and age of bigger, better, faster and the flashier the better, we cannot forget to spend time with family. To take the time to build relationships, to talk about things that that matter and to not forget from where we came, and what we have in common.
When I talked to my Dad about going, his face lit up and talked about how much this trip meant to him too. What we do has an affect on those around us. When we operate with love, love is returned to us, and to all those around. When we operate in fear and lies, the same is returned and damages all those who come in contact. Treat your family well, with care, with love and with tender handling. Because they are the only family you have.