A Family Reunion of Mixed Emotions

One side of my family had a reunion this weekend. It was a great way to catch up with those members of the family you don’t see often enough. Although it was a day filled with laughter and fun, there was a small undercurrent of sadness there all day.

(I know my hope is to show the positive sides of life, so stay with me on this one for a little bit.)

This reunion got me thinking about what terrible excuses I have for not talking with relatives as often as I probably should. Even though that sounds like a “down” thought, it really isn’t. It helped me take note of what is important to me, and why these people that I was getting together are important to me.

I realized a few things:

I realized these are the people that have been there for me during the tough times. They have always been close enough to share the laughter of life as well as the tragedy. They don’t run during those tough times. So on that day of the reunion, we joked, we laughed, we teased, and we shared how things were in our lives.

I realized that the gene pool I swim in is really a good one. We all knew the family members missing that day. We all talked about how busy their lives were and how they wanted to be there, but just couldn’t for a variety of reasons. We understood, but missed them. But, for one particular uncle, we knew it was sad news. One uncle was nearing the end. He just had another stroke. Although we knew he was nearing the end, he passed away today just three days after the reunion, the talk of him caused me to smile on so many different levels. The stories of how he was years ago. Why we all called him Uncle Duck. (His impression of Donald Duck was spot on and always had us in stitches as kids.) His incredible sense of humor. But what really stuck out to me was how people began to share their faith. Family members that I have been convinced for years didn’t pray, were telling me how each morning they talk to family members that have passed on. Asking God and those deceased members of our family to watch over them for help during the upcoming day. Or watch over other family members. Now these cousins were talking about how that morning when the woke up, they were asking our deceased family members to get ready to make room at the Sheepshead card table for one more. I know it’s a sad thought, but it brought sunshine to me heart to see the care and concern of all of my family members.

I realized that sharing those thoughts of others kept us going and made it somewhat ok. Something we’ll be doing more of in the upcoming days. It will make these upcoming days easier to handle.

We’ll miss you Uncle Duck. But those members of the Sheepshead card party you are about to join are already onto your ability to avoid dealing and will probably make you do it anyway. We all know they’ve been waiting for you.

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