A soft rain fell as I closed the door and headed toward my car. It wasn't quite the morning I had envisioned, but appropriate just the same. Dark, cloudy, and a light drizzle. Just the kind of weather the movies always show when a family gathers at the cemetery, but somehow I had dreamed that it would be bright and sunny instead. I found myself accepting of the rain, in spite of my misconceptions, and was thankful for the umbrellas in my glove compartment.
It was just my sisters and I at the cemetery. We gathered in the drizzle and listened to Dad sing "Count Your Blessings" on my car stereo. Rachel read a scripture. I said a prayer. I thanked God for our parents and the examples they were to us, for my grandpa who in his own grief over the loss of a child bought this spot in the little cemetery so long ago, and for my two sisters beside me.
It suddenly struck me how my parents had given me the gift of two sisters. They are both younger than me. I had two older brothers who both came with challenges, one a hyperactive, patience-testing boy, and the other a nonverbal mentally challenged child. I came along when my brother Tim was 5½ years old. With the task of raising my two brothers and now a little girl, my parents easily could have decided they had all they could handle. No one would have blamed them, and I might have stood in the cemetery alone today. (Not really, of course, but hopefully you know what I mean.)
I'm not sure if it was still raining or not by the time we pulled away from the grave site. We met for lunch and were able to eat outside on the patio without being afraid of getting wet and by the time we finished eating, chatting, and finding a friend or two, the sun had come out and it was the kind of day I had originally anticipated.