Family Reunions are interesting gatherings. They kind of remind me of the book, Are You My Mother? Everybody has a story to tell.
We walk around the live long day asking, “Who are you?” “Who’s your mother?” “Are you my cousin?” until the conversations take a deeper turn and we dig into the roots of family.
Where did we come from? Who married whom? In, other words, we should wear t-shirts posing the age-old question, “Do I belong?” or “Do you accept me?”
Will you accept me at the family reunion if the union has been terminated? It’s a broken event, these reunions, all of us wondering, begging to belong in a family into which we were born, adopted or married in to. Everyone has a wound to be healed.
There are touchy subjects, those politics, those beliefs, those recent deaths, they can send us catapulting into anger, despair or both. We walk that rocky path to the swimming hole, all choked up by rhododendron, talking about work camps (at Splinter) after the second World War and Roosevelt. Deep and wide are our conversations, narrow and rutted is the path that takes us there.
It’s the path of family, bound by blood,made proud by poetry, history and stories of three girls at a logging camp, books of the history of Richwood with fourteen children born and two lost early, one to the Cherry River we swim in every year at reunion.
How do we bind up those wounds of those who have lost between reunions? A year. Two gone. Both leave gaping holes, bitter sadness and warm memories at the same time.
We visit old haunts and swim to the rock in the middle of the Cherry River. It seems smaller this year. We sit round the campfire, remembering and rehearsing for future reunions. Our bodies, some older, our joints creaky, our minds full of memories, each playing different tunes, different melodies from so long ago. Some remember this way, some that.
Young ones run around, ignorant of the memories they are building. The olders, with a few decades of Camp Splinter reunions under their belts, ask questions, frantic to hang on as if we will fade with the memories. But, that’s a myth.
We belong. We are loved. Our family may be messy, happy chaos with a side of grief, but we are loved. Chosen. God, the Father knew before we were born that these sisters would marry two Allen brothers and a Hunter. He knew who would be born, for He formed each one of us in our mother’s womb. He created us for family. One day there will be a bigger family reunion in heaven when all of sojourn to glory. There will be no more tears. No more death. No more cancer. No more waiting in hospital rooms. No more questioning whether we belong. We will be home at the forever reunion.
Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor for Three Word Wednesday!