Monday, September 01, 2008

What are Families For?



For years, my mother's family has had a family reunion, usually on the Saturday before Labor Day. Sometimes we go, sometimes we don't. Since the reunion is held yearly, and since folks only stay around for a couple of hours, we haven't always taken the time to travel several hours on the PA Turnpike to eat a lunch, catch up on bits of family news, and see who is ageing faster than we are.

But this year, we did attend the reunion. In fact, we arranged a double-header. The schedules of my brother and my sister made it possible for them to come to Pennsylvania for this annual reunion. This is not the norm--usually schedules keep them away, in Indiana, or in Manitoba. But this year, the stars aligned, and people returned to central PA.

So in anticipatory recognition of another event, my husband and I held a family dinner at our house the night before the family reunion. The other event is my father's 90th birthday. Next June, he will turn 90. Since it is not certain that everyone would be able to gather then, we celebrated that birthday now. The photo at the top is one taken at that gathering.




Of course, photos allow us to mark the moment that something singular occurred. This photo above was brought to my mother's family reunion, and I bought it in an auction we had. Pictured are my mother (far right) and her entire birth family--her five brothers, and her two sisters. And of course her father and mother. The photo is over 50 years old, and all the people pictured are no longer living. The photo keeps our memories clear. Families--they are our bedrock foundation, if we are lucky.

8 comments:

Ruth said...

I think it is wonderful that the family reunions continue, even if everyone cannot attend every year. I love the pictures. I trust your dad is keeping well in this his 90th year. Is he still on the computer?

linda said...

my parents are from north central penna., some of dad's more distant relatives have an annual reunion. i went once and won a prize for traveling the farthest from portland, oregon. i wish i could have attended more than once. family just feels right.

congrats to your dad on his early 90th~

femail doc said...

I love the contrast between the grand old man and the smiling young fellows in the back row. A wonderful captured moment across generations. Will someone buy this at auction in years to come?

Leah Pippen said...

It was wonderful to see you this past weekend!!!

NCmountainwoman said...

Too bad there are fewer and fewer family reunions. I loved reading about yours. I especially loved the old picture.

Beverly said...

I have always envied big families. I had a dear friend who was like a mother to me. Her family was large, and they all lived in Florida, some in Georgia. Whenever they had a reunion, they all came. Her mother's birthday was around July 4, so that was always an occasion for reunion.

I was always included in that, and I was always so grateful. I loved watching the interaction of the siblings and all the cousins.

JeanMac said...

I love your family picture - Dad looks absolutely wonderful - what a blessing to have him.

Mary C said...

Family reunions can be fun, especially when most everyone can attend. An early happy birthday to Father C.