I love this quote. I have always loved it, since I read The Jungle Book many moons ago. It is how I feel about my family, it is a perfect description of my family, immediate or extended. We be of one blood.
My mom's cousin and best friend passed away this week. The rest of us knew this was inevitable, her fight so long and hard. My mom could not make peace with the idea, never gave up hope that one day, Nancy would wake up and be better. They were cousins but sometimes were as close as sisters, in that way that cousins can be.
My earliest memories include Nancy, Paul, Leslie and Joni. Nancy with her quick smile, the "Hi honey," said around her chewing gum while she gave you a hug. Paul so tall. I thought Joni was the coolest person alive and I wanted to be just like her when I became a teenager. Leslie and games of paddy-cake. My mom and Paul and Nancy would talk and talk and laugh and laugh and laugh, sitting at the kitchen table.
I thought of all this today at the funeral home. I thought about my family, as I watched them go about the room. I thought about how there is no small emotion in my family. We all laugh in that head thrown back loud way. We are quick to anger, but then we are just as quick to forgive, move on, smile and laugh again. Our every emotion is there to see. We can never love a little bit or halfway - we give our entire hearts out. And we grieve when those hearts are broken, with all of ourselves. I saw a lot of tears today, and tomorrow there will be more. No one will ever forget Nancy, and the joy she brought to each of lives. And we will all be there to help each other out tomorrow, through our own pain, because that is who we are and how we love and what Nancy would have wanted. What Nancy would have done.