Brothers and sisters

Family sing-along

Family sing-along

La's pancakes

La’s pancakes

Diana, Laura, Linnea, John, Rosalie, Bink and Daniel

Diana, Laura, Linnea, John, Rosalie, Bink and Daniel

Andy, Micah and Indigo chez Pastor

Andy, Micah and Indigo chez Pastor

Poolside

Poolside

Laura and Binky lounging on the dock

Laura and Binky lounging on the dock

John and Amanda zipping around on a jet ski

John and Amanda zipping around on a jet ski

Hale snags a big one

Hale snags a big one

On Friday, the 3rd of May, I flew to Austin. It was an early morning flight, and I’d had my infusion of alimta the previous day. I needed sleep more than conversation and thought this might be a good time to play up my status as a cancer patient in treatment, (as well as to avoid any viruses my fellow passengers might be harboring) so I donned a mask for both legs of the flight. With my knit cap and a scarf wrapped around my neck, I was pretty cozy. Best of all, I actually slept.

So what on earth would compel me to fly the day after chemo? Well, nothing less than a sibling reunion. For the first time in fourteen years, all seven of us were going to be in the same place at the same time—at the home of Laura and her husband Andy in Austin. My brother Daniel and his wife Micah flew in from Alaska with their new baby girl, Indigo. Rosalie, who is pregnant with her second child, had planned to bring her husband Brian and son Magnus, who came down with a fever the night before. So Rosalie came solo, but on the same flight as my sister Bink and brother John and his fiancee Amanda. Diana drove down from Waco, and by Friday night we were all assembled.

Although I had to forgo the hot sun, margaritas and jet skiing, I was more than happy to just hang out. Plus, I did wrangle more than my fair share of baby holding time:  Indigo and I are now fast friends. And I had a chance to have meaningful conversations with every family member (including Laura and Andy’s three sons; Max, Hale and Eli). A surprising highlight of the weekend was a spirited game of Taboo. I’ve had a life long allergy to board games (or ‘bored games’ as I like to say). As a child, I would amuse myself by cheating (ask brother John), but aside from an occasional game of scrabble, I’ve had no interest in games as an adult.

However, May 4th was Diana’s birthday and she wanted to play games. Binky wouldn’t let me worm out of it, so I was in: girls against boys. And you know what? It was so much fun. Taboo is a game where you draw a card with a word on it that you have to make your teammates guess. Below it are five words you cannot use while prompting them, and of course, they are the very words you want and need to say. I was so chemo-brained that I was hilariously inarticulate, but the psychic connection between me and Binky is yet strong, and somehow she managed to guess my words anyway (thanks for making me look good Bink).

Anyway, it was just a special, amazing time and we agreed to not let fourteen years go by before the next sibling reunion. I love you guys!

14 responses to “Brothers and sisters

  1. Linnea, I know what you mean. I just came back from a wonderful visit with my sister in Kansas that I haven’t spent time with for 6 years. There is nothing like family 🙂

    • Roni, glad you had such a good visit with your sister. Sharing time with those with whom we have a common history is something special—it is too bad that sometimes we have to go so long between these moments.

      Linnea

  2. Hey, Linnea, that is wonderful, and a much more pleasant dose than the one of alimta, I’ll bet. xo

  3. Love those pancakes!! How wonderful that everyone was there together. You certainly have strength of character and body to endure such travel after a day of chemo, Linnea. Hope you are doing well.

    • The pancakes were tons of fun, but it was just my stubborn streak that got me on that plane. Coming home was harder—-I found myself at the wrong gate in the wrong terminal at boarding time. Luckily, I made it to the right place in the nick of time. Got my heart rate up a bit though!

      Linnea

  4. Hi Linnea,
    Happy to know that you had a good time. Nothing better then be surrounded by family. I am lucky that most of my family is less than 40 min away so we do meet often. Enjoy your off week before the next treatment. Take care.
    Joan

    • Joan, I regret that my family is not closer—I’m glad you get to see yours often. Hope you are doing well (and I wore my lovely scarf from you on my trip!)

      Linnea

  5. Thanks for sharing more about your family. It sounds like you had some of those awesome days where, afterwards, you lie in bed and think, “yes, this is what life is about.” 😊

    • Jessica, it was one of those trips that makes you feel good about so many things—including childhood!

      Linnea

  6. What a wonderful experience Linnea. Congratulations on having the stubborness to get on a plane the day after chemo! Even though you couldn’t enjoy a marguerita or two, you did have baby cuddles…..no contest in my opinion.

    • Beryl, you are so right—holding a little baby (and having her fall asleep in my arms) was such a privilege. And these days, a margarita would seriously impair my already compromised ability to think.

      Linnea

  7. Good for you and your sibs, Linnea. Nothing like brothers and sisters being together, even better as adults. As the oldest of four, I feel a maternal love for mine, especially the youngest who is 18 years younger than me! Surprise baby, was he. Steve has lunch with his four older sisters every couple of weeks now that everyone is retired. Baby brother having the Big C is so difficult for the girls. Rest abit and enjoy your memories of your trip. Hedy

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