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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Potluck (Meal or Gathering) Deadline 7-26-12 @ 10 AM NY Time (07/19/12)

By Linda Goergen


Love them or hate them...announcements of family reunions can polarize emotions. Many protest, as I once did, that a family reunion isn’t the way they want to spend their limited, hard-earned vacation days. But I have grown to love our family reunions.

So what changed my view? Through having my children grow up and live far away, thus now having my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, far from me? Or through seeing family traditions and stories, that I knew by heart growing up, being lost to the younger set? Or maybe it was realizing that, as I age, I have more family and loved ones to gather with in Heaven someday, than those left to gather with here on earth. Or hopefully, I have just become a bit wiser with age. Whatever the reason, I now can see why gathering the family meant so much to my grandmother. I have come to believe that blood ties do matter. They matter a lot.

Maybe it was sealed in my heart when watching, at our last reunion, my mother and my granddaughter happily huddled together, with mom sharing some of her treasured recipes. Or maybe it was when my children and grandchildren joined together in laughter and hoopla as they watched me compete in a hoola-hoop contest. Or maybe it was seeing everyone totally absorbed as my dad sang some of his old silly songs; songs his dad had sung to him and he used to sing to me. I knew at that moment the souls of all our generations were sharing something special.

Maybe it is knowing that my dad, due to dementia, will never again stand and entertain our family’s generations by playing his guitar and singing “The Thousand Legged Worm” song. A song we’ve all learned from early childhood because of him. Or possibly it is in remembering his infectious laugh, which I seldom hear anymore due to his disease, as we all wiggled our fingers and hopped when he sang the song. Or maybe it is realizing that now my generation must take the torch and light the flame of family fun and recollections.

Whatever reason, I finally realized that children should not be robbed of these extended family memories, where a pot-luck of personalities, looks, ages, opinions and food, provide hours of loving, laughing, visiting, sharing and making memories. Ah, yes, I think I have become wiser, and my grandmother would be proud of me.

Sure, we have some nuts in our family; maybe even a couple of lemons; but we all come together this one time a year in a unique harmony. So I am looking forward to gathering, once again, with my aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and remembering that it’s all about love and laughter and memories. These are our roses in December.

I have come to believe family reunions here somewhat reflect Heaven, where a great pot-luck of personalities and temperaments will blend in perfect harmony and unity because of blood ties, through Jesus. The smorgasbord of earthly religions that divide will fall away, as real and true love supersedes and unifies like nothing else. Being part of the family of God is all that will matter.

What better way too, to spend some time at your earthly family reunion, than in trying to make sure that all those present, are also in your Heavenly family gathering.

Oh, how I thank the Lord that I have become wiser about family reunions and have learned to feast on the pot-luck of experiences, knowledge and possibilities offered there. I am thankful I realized that what I, and all members, throw into the melting pot of our family really matters.

(As taught to us -Tune: "Polly Wolly Doodle")

Said the thousand-legged worm,
As he gave a little squirm,
"Has anybody seen a leg of mine?
For if it can't be found I shall have to hop around
On the other nine hundred ninety-nine.

Hop around, hop around
On the other nine hundred ninety nine,
If it can't be found I shall have to hop around
On the other nine hundred ninety-nine."

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This article has been read 449 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 07/26/12
Wow! This was so beautiful. It touched me deeply. I love all of the images you presented, we got to see a glimpse of your amazing loving family. And, of your Dad who obviously was the "light" of the gatherings.

Your descriptions allowed us to see your heart as you gave a lovely heart warming tribute to your blood ties, but most important to your Dad.

Keep those memories and form new ones along the way...I'm sure when you are all called home, you can have your big gathering once again, where I'm sure your Dad will be singing that great and catchy tune!

I loved this. Thank you for sharing your family with us.

God Bless you,

Catrina Bradley 07/26/12
I feel like I just shared an intimate afternoon with an old friend. Lovely essay that pulled at my heartstrings.
Noel Mitaxa 07/26/12
Strong and positive emotion all the way through, because the doubts couldn't stop them coming through. Great little song too :-)
Charla Diehl 07/27/12
For the first time in a long while we missed my husband's family reunion last month. Just one week later, a nephew died unexpectedly. Family reunions are bonding times for each generation attending--and the memories will live on for years.
Thanks for sharing your slice of life with us. It was an enjoyable read.
Beth LaBuff 08/02/12
I enjoyed the insight into your family and reunions, and I was so glad you posted the words to the Thousand Legged Worm (because I was going to ask). What fun!