It was a good four decades after the blessed event. We were gathered from afar to mourn my father’s passing; my mother, three siblings and myself sitting around a restaurant table quietly pondering our shared past. There were some bad memories and some really good ones, all mixed together the way life does to keep things interesting.
At a time like this we’d inevitably reminisce far enough back we’d reach the beginning. With a little prodding from my sister, my mom let slip, “Yeah, you all were accidents.”
It’s not as if this doesn’t happen all the time. Admittedly it was much harder to deal with back then, when the church considered itself the owner of our social values. I can barely imagine my mom’s courage and fortitude bringing up four unplanned tax credits to adulthood, often on her own. And despite her misgivings for not doing a better job in retrospect–like we all do–we all turned out pretty damn good. We all do the best with what we have at the moment.
That probably wasn’t what we were thinking at that moment, of course.
“Thanks, mom,” we said, in unison.
Despite the sad day, after a moment we started laughing. Dad would have loved the humor, survived by these happy accidents.