Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Family Reunions

1st & 2nd cousins.
All the gang who showed up.
Yes I know you don't have a clue who these people are--and I don't intend to list all their names. BUT--this is a family reunion from my dad's mother's side of the family. And these are the remaining few.
It makes me a bit sad that so many of them have gone --- and that a few others don't attend. It makes me a bit sad such a one time large family has dwindled.
My grandmother was one of 7 (I think???) children. And then they all married and had children. So at one time, this was a big group getting together. I remember 35 years ago, when I was newly married, meeting with great uncles, 2nd & 3rd cousins. I just didn't appreciate how meaningful those family ties would become.
Why do we miss those so very much when we didn't even see them that often? Well, because that's our family. It's where we came from and who we were & are. My grandmother stayed here in her hometown until she was unable to care for herself alone. I believe 2 of her brothers stayed here also. Other brothers lived only 30 minutes away; one had the nerve to move out of state. But even with all the closeness of proximity, families got so busy raising their own kids, working, keeping up with daily life, that after "great grandmother" passed, the gatherings diminished. It was too bad, cause we have such a great time when together!
My dad had only 1 sister & i brother--he never married. I had 3 cousins, girls, that we were raised with almost like sisters. We have tried to remain active in one another's lives, but, alas, it is difficult.
Still, when we get together, we laugh til our sides hurt, reminiscise, gossip, eat, hug---we are family. We will forgive faults & failures, rejoice in triumphs, love unconditionally--we are family.