Monday, April 17, 2006


My mother's birthday was April 15th, so I flew to Michigan to be with my brother and sisters last weekend. The weather cooperated and Lake Michigan was sparkling. It was a nice time to see what remains of my family, to reminisce, and to get used to our status as orphans.

We celebrated Saturday night by going to dinner at the place we often took my mom, we went bowling, and we capped the evening with a visit to a "dive" bar that might have even given my father some pause. The feel of the evening was easy and pleasant. We shared stories in between lame attempts at strikes, we shared inside jokes, and some very questionable Karaoke was imposed on the audience of the bar--not by me, of course, as they had no Hank Sr. on the playlist.

We almost forgot why we were getting together. I cannot recall having such a time with my own flesh and blood. My mother would have been proud of us, I think. The old man might have been proud too. I have heard all my life that there is no substitute for family. In the last couple of months, I learned what that phrase means.