Family reunions were the highlight each summer.
Mom was the organizer.
She had hosting down to an art.
She knew how to put on a party.
She knew how to keep everyone happy.
She made it all look so easy.
There would be games to be played.
Songs to be sung.
Food to be eaten.
Contests to be won.
It was always held at Mom’s trailer park.
For those who could stay...
It was a weekend long reunion.
Every year there would be another wedded couple or a new baby or both to enjoy.
All the cousins from each generation were close in our family.
We all knew each other’s histories.
Our successes and our failures
Our joys and our sadness.
We were all at each other’s wedding and showers,
Birthdays and graduations,
Holiday celebrations and anniversaries.
And of course funerals.
We were taught to respect our parents,
Our Aunt and Uncles,
And our cousins.
We were taught to value family.
I learned to love them all.
Our cousins were like extended siblings.
Other families envied our huge family of closeness.
It didn’t even seem extraordinaire until others pointed it out.
Now, our family tree is missing a whole branch.
Mom and her siblings have all passed away.
It has taken a while for us cousins to stretch our branches closer.
But we are working on it.
We have a new generation to connect.
Our children need to have extended family too.