Yesterday I spent what could have been an agonizing afternoon of travel delays, made worse by fatigue. Instead, it became a rather magical time. And this is why I believe there is hope for our world. If we will only listen to each other.
I spent the afternoon with my former sister-in- law and now someone who I would venture to call a dear friend. And this is our story.
I met Cari Ristock, now Matter, when she was 15 years old. I was 20. She was dating my fiancé s younger brother, and had just stepped on a bee. Cari was, and is, very expressive. The Matter family were and are, stoic Germans. And so when she was crying and screaming in agony, I immediately felt a kinship. Because I wasn't all about sucking it up either.
Cari eventually married my former husband's brother and they created a wonderful life for themselves. They had set backs, of course, but they raised two of the most wonderful young women, which is what I know they take the most pride in, despite also having extremely successful business careers.
I divorced her husband's brother,but Cari never gave up on my children, even when their dad and I were not operating very well as co-parents. I always knew that Aunt Cari had their backs.
But she had her loyalties to her husband's family, as she should. And so we lost contact.
Last year however, we had a series of emails, that although painful, caused her to hear me, and perhaps find forgiveness for me, as to why I needed to leave our common family all those years ago.
But that didn't take away our biggest difference. Politics. Cari is as staunchly conservative Republican as I am liberal Democrat. Goodness how we have assaulted each other on Facebook these last few years.
Until last year, at Chris and Rianna's wedding, when I decided that it was just enough. She is as entitled to her opinions as I am. I took a deep breath , approached her, and told her that I thought that we were missing a prime opportunity to make a fortune. I told her that with our fabulous personalities and obvious good looks, we could take our show on the road. She could be making the gun sign, and I would be making the peace sign. We would call it point/counterpoint. We ended the night in laughter, love and acceptance. A turning point.
So much so, that yesterday she showed me a picture of daughter Ashley, winning a shooting contest in high school where she won a gun. Sorry Cari...I think it was more than that, but my ears kinda closed at "won a gun."
And why was she on the plane? To meet her daughter Abby, who is probably attending Luther Seminary next year in some capacity. And...to visit my children. That was humbling for me. Thank you.
And because ....Aunt Cari has always had their backs.
Wow....I'm just loving some people...on this journey.