Monday, June 11, 2007

"Things do not change; we change." -- Henry David Thoreau

The picture was shot after Christmas, in Philadelphia, where my sister's family and mine gathered for a leisurely lunch. My sister Mary is kneeling down in front, looking younger than all the rest of us. To her right is my son James, and to his right is Dr. Hal Schedl, Mary's father-in-law and friend to Leroy and myself for nearly 40 years. In the back row, Naomi Kark Schedl, artist extraordinare and also our friend for those years, then her granddaughter, Jess. Behind Jess is her father, Paul Schedl, a microbiologist at Princeton, for some reason here waving a hat. That's me in the middle, with Leroy at my side, and our other niece, Elizabeth, on Leroy's left. When we meet, we just pick up the conversation where it left off last time we spoke.
The cousins are close. The first time Jess met James was when I sat him down on the floor in front of her. She was about three, and he about 13 months. She spent several minutes chatting at him, then stood up and said to me: "Well, what good is he? He can't talk."

That story is a nice metaphor for the literate, verbal set of families that we are, and how we've evolved over the years. We've changed, but there is still plenty to talk about. My sister is a 5.5 year survivor of breast cancer, finally off tamoxifen. Though she and I, like James and Jess, will change more in the coming years, I suspect we'll be chatting still when we are in our 90s....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Annie,
I love what you wrote. Very inspirational and true. Love you