What do you call an event when babies and moms and dads and grandpas and grandmas and aunts and uncles and cousins and a few shirt tale relations all wearing nametags get together in one room?
You call it a family reunion.
Summer, when the days are gentle and full of promise and the air smells clean like freshly mowed green grass and laundry hanging on the line, is a time for such reunions.
Reunions can be a time of uncertainty and it’s difficult to trust enough to ‘plan it and they will come’ and leave it at that.
My sisters and myself and our families were all invited to this reunion.
And so we all nodded in the affirmative, noting reunions are positive, happy events. We certainly all knew enough about funerals.
And so here we were!
I mentally chastised myself for arriving late, later than my siblings, but already someone was coming across the wooden floor of the old hall to greet me and I was grateful.
And then before I knew it, I was surrounded by a group of friendly people whom I knew in my head I was related to, (otherwise why would they be here?)
Nametags. Thank goodness for nametags.
There were cousins and cousin in-laws and cousins’ kids and then more cousins’ kids. That branch of the family tree seemed to be very prolific, I think to myself.
Lots of these people seem to know me and they seemed to want to know how I was doing. I know this to be true because people kept saying to me, “Treena, how are you doing?”
I looked at the faces of these friendly people and suddenly, without warning, I could think of nothing much to say. I looked around for my chatty sister, but she was busy chatting somewhere else.
“Good. I’m good,” I reply, desperately hoping that one word would make me sound intelligent and mature.
One of my cousins, bless his heart, told me I looked so much like mother. “It’s like seeing Rosie come alive again,” he said with a gentle smile on his lips and a faraway look in his eyes.
His words brought a gentle tug to the region of my body where my heart is located. I had only known my mom for the first six years of my life and the idea of looking like her pleased me.
We smile somewhat awkwardly at each other before we discover we had not much more to say.
But his words made me happy. He had just confirmed it.
I had a mom once. I look like her.
And so the reunion proceeded like reunions do.
There was laughter and, no doubt, a few tears. There was lots of really delicious food. There were babies crawling on the floor and dads lounging against the door of the hall watching them so they didn’t escape.
There were siblings. There were cousins. In short, there were lots of people who were bonded by a common bloodline.
I liked it. The reunion. And for a few short hours, I felt like the family tree that I belong to was watered and nurtured by just the right people for the job.
And once again I was reminded that although we all grow in different directions our roots remain as one.
And that is good!