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Family Reunion Musings

Jonesfambw

I had the privilege to go to my family reunion this weekend (my mom’s dad’s side of the fam). I have not seen many of these relatives since I was a teenager. I’m almost 50, so in some ways I was re-meeting some cousins. I have one great Aunt still living. She is precious and seeing her smile is as endearing as it gets in this life. Her impact (along with the others) impacted my life greatly, mostly for their love and care for my mom.

Being with relatives in person gave context for snippets of things I remember. Memories seem more solidified somehow. In some way it feels like missing pieces of a puzzle were found. We gathered mostly from all over the state of GA– Savannah, Athens (Commerce), Atlanta. One from TX, My mom from FL and me, the “gypsy wanderer from everywhere”.

I noticed some similar family traits—skin, eyes, expressions. Those are the obvious visible things. It made me wonder about the invisible ones. Do we each share some propensity for a certain perspective? Are we equally as vulnerable in a certain way? Do we battle the same hurdles and obstacles in our mind?

My cousin Tina is working on info for the family tree. As we chatted about birth dates, marriage dates, birth cities etc, I imagined my Grandad, Aunts and Uncles as part of the mighty roots of a this huge Red Cedar Tree. Looking into the eyes of their offspring made me feel something good. It’s a grand thing that the goodness of them remain among us. When my 2nd cousin Willis hugged me, I immediately felt like my Uncle Wit was right beside me. When I chatted with my cousin Julie, my great Aunt Ruth seemed to be within reach. Over and over again, like a beautiful deja vu, I felt connected to someone from my past. Goodness remains in our memory. The not-so good we let go with the wind. We’re a blessed bunch to have each other.

I came away from an afternoon with these dear ones encouraged and connected. Afterward, we walked among the cemetery where our departed ones are buried. We brushed the red dirt from the top of the stone to read their names with reverence. We miss them.

I left with red dirt on my boots and also on my heart.

#beautynearme

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Is it possible? Can everyone have a happy father’s day?

Father.

The word touches deeply. For some it will bring a smile, and for others, it will bring deep sadness. I realize the gift of being among the smilers. But regardless of our experiences, and the vast differences represented, I am sure that we would agree that fathers impact. Whether it is for that which we long for, or for that which we have known and experienced, there is a depth in this word, this person, this possibility. To know what you would have wanted is a gift. I say this with reverence for the pain. I know it’s not easily accepted. It’s difficult and arduous to need a father and not have one. I believe a happy father’s day is available for us all.

You see, my father represents both groups. He represents joy in what he is to me; how he lives and gives; what tenacity, godliness and creativity he exudes, I feel the beauty & weight of that gift. And yet, he also represents the other group, He is among the sad for what he did not have himself. I feel selfish to even allude to this, but in some ways, I know that the longing for HIS father gave him a clear picture of what he could be for ME and my sisters. Pain does that. It gives a choice. And though he did not choose this sacrifice, I am the benefactor. I seem to be standing at an altar overladen with undeserved goodness. If I could share with him in reverse, I would.

Fathers impact. We can all celebrate that on this day. In one direction or the other, we’ve been given a gift.