I definitely have a love/hate relationship with family reunions. One of my problems is that my mom and dad moved from Virgina to Chicago “for two years” in 1965 and never went back! So while everyone else remained in Virginia, growing up I always felt like the “outsider.”
Another thing is that the older I get, the smaller my memory is of the next generations. I grew up visiting my grandma and grandpa over the summer when I was little. Great Aunts and Uncles were regular visitors, and each year my relationship with them grew and grew. Fast forward 30 years and my Aunt Cele whose 80th birthday we are celebrating, is the oldest memory of my family. Guess who is second . . . my mom!
So as yearly visits were less and less, obviously our family over the years has grown exponentially . . . cousins that I remember being around 15, are now married, and have been for a couple years!
The other thing is that I always forget is that how long it takes for 11 people to get out the door. Yesterday my Mom, Aunt and Uncle picked me up at the house that I stayed at Friday night. It was around 3:15 and the game plan was to check into the week rental they had and change and go back to the house for drinks, appetizers and dinner.
Guess what time we actually got there? 6:30! And I had hardly anything to eat beforehand, so I was more than ready for my Aunt’s North Carolina pulled pork bbq. I follow her same recipe, but hers always turns out better!
I am thankful I am here though. One tradition we have in our family is saying grace before the meal. We were wrapped around this huge living room, hand in hand while we said grace. I happened to be standing next to the 80th birthday girl, and as she scanned the room of all these family members who came far and wide for her special weekend, the tears started to flow and she asked me “can you count how many people are here?” A moment later, I whispered “43 including you!”
Her reply? I am blessed with all this love! In that moment I was so glad I made the decision to make this trip. It will be one of my greatest family reunion memories.
I hope I have had a chance to email all of my 101 days of summer particpants – I won’t be posting the weekend results and posting again until Tuesday morning – I hope everyone understands!
Do you have yearly family reunions? Is it a love or hate adventure??
Until Tuesday, be safe and enjoy the rest of your weekend!
And I miss Tony . . . can’t wait to see you tomorrow babe!! I love you!