Family is where it’s at!
This is a post I wrote back in the summer of 2017. I do really feel so lucky in my family … and we are prepping for another family gathering when Drew gets married next month.
I’ve spent the last few weeks with extended family and I’m reminded yet again how fortunate I have been when it comes to family. My parents have been empty nesters for at least a couple of decades, yet their home is almost always hosting one of their kids coming home to visit. This past week all of us came home for a family reunion. It is almost funny to call it that because we see each other so frequently. A few weeks earlier the majority of the extended family gathered to welcome home my nephew, Drew, who just completed a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Paraguay. A few weeks before that, my sister came to Denver for a visit and we again gathered together to have a BBQ. My point being that we really don’t need an official event to spend time together. Anyway, we all arrived and the festivities began. There are enough bedrooms for all my parents’ children and spouses to have one. The grandkids were housed in tents on the back lawn. The one married grandkid got the pullout couch… what will we do when the next one marries?? Mostly our reunion included lots of sitting around with ice cream and visiting. One day we had a giant blowup water slide delivered and the kids had a great time. Even the adults took their turns. One day was the state celebration of Pioneer Day, so we watched the parade and some of the runners in the family ran the “milk run” (and dominated the medal winning!). The older teenagers organized relay races for the younger cousins (though the adults got in on the action as well). A couple of evenings we shared stories from family history about great great great grandparents. What is so amazing to me is that all five of us kids and our families really like being with each other. While we are all different and have varied experiences, we get along well and look forward to spending time together. It feel great to be part of such a safe and welcoming group.
This past weekend my kids and I went camping with Tom’s extended family. Tom is the youngest of six kids and his extended family is more extensive and multigenerational. But each of his siblings had some representation at the camp and it was so enjoyable to watch cousins catch up with each other. There were many fierce volleyball matches and a straggling hike up a nearby peak – it was great to see the long line of kids and teenagers and new parents and even us older campers struggling up the path. Andrew got to join us for the weekend and it was gratifying to see the positive changes that he has made. Mostly I was so grateful that even though Tom is gone, his brothers and sisters still include me as one of the family and want us to be part of the family gatherings. I know Tom is so pleased that they have taken such good care of us in his place.
I know there are many who don’t enjoy positive family relationships and I feel blessed with an abundance.