Let me begin by saying that 3 months ago I was dreading this weekend. My mom called and told me that it was our family reunion. For years I have hated family reunions. I always felt disconnected and not a part of the Call side of my family. I knew my grand parents and even my great grand parents, but I didn't really know them like my brother who often rode his bike to their home or like my cousins that lived down the lane from them. They knew them so much better.
I have aunts and uncles on this side of the family that hunt and fish and camp and do all of those outdoor things. Since I got married 30 years ago, we rarely camp, we do not hunt or fish as my husband has never wanted to do those things. So I really felt like I didn't have much in common with this side of my family.
On to this weekend. My sister-in-law's father passed away last week and his funeral was on Saturday, the same day as our reunion. We decided to support her and attend his funeral instead of going to the reunion and then attend the reunion later in the day (it's an all day event). So his funeral was beautiful. Each of the siblings spoke of their father and what a wonderful man he was. And I can truly say he was a kind and soft-spoken man. He always asked about our children when we saw him and he always had a kind comment to make. He was a great example of what we should want to be like. It made me realize how truly important family is.
We went to the reunion and I went with a whole new outlook! I know I should have had this outlook much sooner, but you must know that hard-headedness runs on this side of the family and I do tend to have this trait sometimes. Before we went to the reunion we ran home to change our clothes as the park where it was held was 10 minutes away from our house. I also did something that I usually never do, I grabbed my camera. This funeral made me realize that I may not have my family around next year. My father is getting older and frankly, I'm not sure how long we will have him around. He has had some real health issues and is going to the doctor this week to see if they can help him. A few months ago he started losing his balance. He has fallen a few times since. He can't seem to get his left leg to work when he stands and it has begun to swell at the ankle.
My father is the second to youngest of his siblings and so at the reunion he had an older sister and brother who are in okay health, but you never know. . . I wanted pictures and I wanted them like I've wanted nothing else for a long time. So when we showed up at the reunion I began snapping away. I took pictures of any and everyone. I got a hug from so many people that I haven't talked to for years. Sometimes when we'd go to the reunion, and I'm ashamed to admit it, I'd just sit with my own children and talk to them until it was time to go and not have said a word to many there. What a missed opportunity - what a lame excuse!! I feel like I've lost so many chances. However, I am changed in so many ways because of this weekend. I will never attend another reunion without my camera. If for nothing more than an opportunity to have people open up and have a way to connect with them.
I have to admit that I have always been some one that hated to have my picture taken - to the point that I didn't hire a photographer for my wedding. I just had a friend that took snapshots. Well, my out look on that changed yesterday also. Someone asked to take a picture of me and my sisters. I usually hate that because I'm the fat sister. However, I am who I am and I loved having this photo. I may not be perfect, but my two sisters are gorgeous and I was happy to have this photo because you just never know!!
My niece came for her grandfather's funeral (the one I mentioned earlier). We don't get to see her very often and she just had a new little one. So this is a precious picture! I'm not sure when we'll see her again and her little girl will have grown so much when we do. She is with my daughter. They loved seeing each other and talking about being mom's. It seems like everyone is growing and changing and I want to capture every moment and hold on to it!
These two were crawling around and bonked their heads. They were so cute!! Next year they will both be walking and running around!
I sure love this family of mine! I'm grateful to a loving Heavenly Father for them! I also grateful to Him for opening my eyes to how truly wonderful they all are!!