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.
THE THOUSAND LEGGED WORM SONG
(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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