Grandparents were the heart of my family since before I entered the picture.
Over the years, my grandparents lost battles with cancer and heart complications.To this day, my grandma remains in a constant state of confusion; stuck in a routine that chose her.
The heart of the family never ceases to beat. It lives on in aunts, uncles, cousins, and cousin’s offspring.
This past weekend was a living, breathing example of how our family’s heart continues to beat.
Kicking the weekend off, I attended Cousin A’s hockey game. A game he coached.
As with all of Cousin A’s games, past and present, I waited to chat with him after the game. The conversation was lively; filled with laughter, stories of hockey and hunting. A perfectly normal and comfortable conversation.
Saturday was somewhat similar to Friday. Another hockey game. Except, instead of waiting after the game, I was able to talk with Cousin A during the game. For the last few minutes of the third period, we stood against a railing overlooking the ice and talked about the game at hand, games around the league, coaches, and players. Again, the talking points were familiar and easy-going.
Hockey wise, it was a family weekend. A weekend where I blinked back memories of childhood and family reunions.
On Saturday night, I posted on Cousin A’s sister’s wall that I had seen her brother and missed our family get-togethers at his old games. She concurred that those were good times; times we probably took for granted and wish we could get back.
Had the weekend ended on that note, I would have been a happy camper. But it just kept getting better. The heart beat stronger than ever.
Sunday evening, I noticed a Facebook post from my cousin in Colorado. A cousin who serves this country. He wrote that the day had finally come. The day when his wife was going to get a new heart.
The news was good. News he had waited for since April.
While good and exciting, the news ushered in fears and worries.
And along with those fears and worries, my family turned to our computers and got down on our knees for my cousin, his wife, and their young son. Through e-mails and Facebook posts, we joined hands and hearts as we waited for my cousin to send us the all-clear sign.
It arrived early Monday morning, while most of the family was sleeping. The heart was safe and sound, beating inside my cousin’s wife, breathing new life into her.
My family has been through its fair share of challenges. We’ve experienced loss and felt disoriented. But the heart never stops. It lives on inside each and every one of us. It keeps beating, so we can keep our family close to our hearts.
So we can have a full heart.
A heart full of family.