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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Comiskey

Beyond Ourselves

Best summer memories:

Lit up and teary-eyed, my 95-year-old mom’s face as she looked for first time at two infant great grandkids, one named for her late husband (Tommy).

'Water' Lily

3-year-old Lily choosing me as her refuge as she braved Pacific surf (in my arms).

My four kids flowing like fresh water, naturally supernatural, into lives of wonderful yet little-known relatives (with little faith). Beautiful to see Kingdom come through these believers who love well—smart, fun, interested in others.

I won’t soon forget our 14-member Comiskey trek to CA last July—two new infants, three toddlers, lots more adult children with baggage unending for their little ones who would shuttle from air terminals to rent cars then head to beach (in particular, Long Beach) then up 7500 feet to a lake mountain resort (Big Bear). In both So. Cal. locales, 14 of us melded with my family-of-origin, then Annette’s.

The Comiskeys

Wasn’t what we planned. For three years, Annette and I had mapped out for our 40th anniversary a romantic course from Los Angeles to San Francisco up El Camino Real (equal parts PCH and the 101). We’d stop at pretty good hotels aimed at winetasters and enjoy together without dependents our history of love. Our first 25 years had been punctuated by sweet trips up the Central Coast. Unlike us to pour over travel possibilities together--we savored what lay ahead.

While we plotted a winey escape, two of our kids expanded their families so we thought it wise to help them, one unit at a time, to show and tell my aging Mom bout their expanding broods. Covid hit and collapsed carefully laid plans, over and over. I vowed wearily to never assume their travel plans again.

As we inched toward our anniversary, it struck us both that our marital getaway landed on one of the only months all family members could mobilize for CA (parental leaves, summer breaks for teachers, etc.). I haltingly suggested this to Annette: ‘Might we lay down our plans for a 14-member blitzkrieg in LA?’

Annette knew what that meant—the right thing for all and the worst thing for her. Yeah, I’d handle travel stuff. But housing and meal planning…Would she allow her extravagant rest to become a labor of love?

She assented. She’s a mom. She trusted the Lord with mixed feelings. Those feeling didn’t abate. Until my mom’s face. And the sweetness of our unity, on the beach, up the mountain. And for who else but 14 Comiskeys would United Airlines hold the plane due to a late connection in Denver? We’ll wine taste later.


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