About 11 years ago, we gathered for a funeral for my dad’s cousin. While we were there to mourn, everyone also really enjoyed being together. It made the family realize that we had let years go by without intentionally seeing each other on a regular basis. If we did not make a change, we would only see each other clad in black at funerals.
Ever since that day, we have had a yearly family reunion. While not everyone can make it every time, the turnout has been really good over the past decade.
We’ve ridden ski lifts in the mountains, and thrown my cousin Lee in the pool, and had a very competitive corn hole tournament. We’ve eaten a lot of food, danced to George Strait, and learned family history. We’ve celebrated weddings, and welcomed new babies, and listened to Uncle Jody play the piano. We celebrated the 100 year anniversary of our family’s homestead, and said goodbye to the last members of that generation.
This year, we gathered at my parents’ house and sat outside under the shade of the pecan tree. It was nothing fancy, but after so many months of quarantine, it sure felt special.
I think that this tradition has been one of our biggest gifts. I’m so grateful for these memories and for these people.