Monday, June 27, 2011

Why Do We Go to Family Reunions?

1. We love to be connected.

2. People tell great stories if you get them going.  A funny story is always a treat, but if it's a funny story about a relative, especially one I don't know well, pieces of my life puzzle click together and I learn things about my mother, about myself, maybe about my children.

My grandmother had 9 siblings.  My mother had 26 first cousins growing up, not even counting her own 6 siblings in the horde.  I have a lot of extended family to keep straight!

3. If it's a potluck, the food is fantastic (and ethnic - more discoveries!).

4. Cousins make the best playmates.

5. Family is a gift, even when you have to rearrange work plans, drive several hours, and sleep in a lumpy bed to see them.  Family is a gift not to be cast aside lightly.  My heritage gives me strength and purpose. 

I had a great-uncle who read Psalm 91 to his assembled family before every journey; my parents said a quick prayer before turning the key on a road trip; but my little family has done nothing of the sort. 

Can you tell I'm inspired by my weekend family reunion?  I'd love to hear your thoughts, the reasons you treasure extended family time.


Christian - Modobject@Home said...

You find bits of yourself wrapped up in your family.

Rebecca said...

To remind yourself that you belong to something you didn't create and can't control.

Melanie said...

Love, love, love this post, sister! I love all your other posts too - but feel espcially touched by this ode to family..xx

Deanna Beth said...

Being on Family Vacation right now, I really appreciate how intentional it makes our family time. As much as we try to protect our household's schedule, we still are driven to distraction by our obligations and choices at home. Even when our vacation seems to have a surface agenda of Going and Doing, everyone down to the littlest seems to get that Togetherness is what it's really about.

Beth said...

I loved reading your reflections on family reunions and connections, and your deep respect for honoring those relationships.

I have not been to a family reunion in years.

Interestingly, my dad, who never knew his dad (his unmarried mom was cut off from his birth father by her family), has reconnected with the family and went to THEIR reunion this summer! He met a few half-siblings, which was extra special since he grew up an only child.

Polly said...

I adore family reunions. I love to analyze how we inherit different traits. I know I am very much like my paternal grandmother. It is fun to see how people remind us of others who are living or have died. I love the stories, being hopeless in the face of any true historical narrative--I just adore them. One of my great-great aunts wrote a book on the family (she was born around the turn of the century) & it is a treasure. I hope that we can facilitate reunions with our family in the future. My children are the 5th generation on this farm--I'd love to host everyone as they descend on us and we have reunions! I haven't been to one in years; it seems the older folks have stopped doing them and no one picked up where they left off. (that's for my Very Extended family) I want to look into this now and join up again!

Margo said...

Polly, one of my friends lives on an old family farm. She invites all the family for a tent campout once a summer. It's a great way to keep in touch!
I guess our generation has to start arranging or attending reunions if we want them to keep going . . .