We hold our family reunion every year at Enid Lake. Several years back, an aunt of mine died that I had never met. After going to Varina’s funeral and spending the day with my dad’s side of the family, I realized that I was missing something by not knowing or spending time with these people. So I started our family reunions back up. The last Stone family reunion had been in 1984, when I was just four years old. I had very vague memories of a few of those reunions, playing with certain cousins and such. Those memories were as vague as old dreams.
This year’s reunion went pretty well. We had a pretty good turnout and lots of food. I made a ton of food. I always make too much! I cooked pot roast and corn casserole and made an Oreo pie and raspberry bars for dessert. And with cooking too much always inevitably comes eating too much. I still feel stuffed hours later. Okay, okay, so I did get into the leftover raspberry bars after I got home. I’m guilty.
Those few family members who usually get on my nerves didn’t irritate me today for some reason. I actually enjoyed talking to them and everyone else. I think it’s because I had such a yucky, bleak, and difficult week that spending time with anyone was a welcome comfort from sitting here alone and depressed. The most touching part of the day came at the end when several of the older folks gave me money to help pay for next year’s reunion. They were so appreciative of me taking the initiative every year and organizing the reunion. I could see the happiness in their eyes from having spent the day with loved ones they hardly ever get to see. It was so touching. It made all the time spent on the phone with the state park people (there had been rumors that with the plunging economy that Cossar State Park was going to shut down) and all the envelope licking and reunion notice folding worth it to see their smiles and get their hugs.
Family is so important. I think younger generations are losing that realization and undervaluing how important family unity is. We’re missing so much from not being around our elders regularly. But that’s a soapbox for another post one day.
I appreciate my family members, and that’s why I make sure we have our family reunions each summer.