The stuff that reunions and families are made of

I saw the new baby last week. I held his sweet little self in my arms, inhaled his brown sugar baby smell

I saw the new baby last week.

I held his sweet little self in my arms, inhaled his brown sugar baby smell and gazed at the world reflected in his innocent blue eyes.

I held the child close to me as I sat in the rocking chair in the cheerful nursery. And as I rocked, the sun played peek-a-boo with the wall hanging that says, ‘I’ll love you to the moon and back’, and his two older brothers played at my feet.

The two-year-old watched me closely, finally pulling his thumb out of his mouth long enough to tell me proudly, “that’s my new brother.”

The five-year-old took great pains to explain to me that the baby who is now two-months-old has many talents.

“He can roll over, he can kick really well, he can wave his arms and he can smile already,” he said, puffing out his little chest with pride.

I rock the baby slowly, and with every creak of the rocking chair, I feel my hurry up deadline driven world slow down.

I rock slowly, comfortably, steadily. The children play and the baby slowly closes his eyes.

And time, as I knew it, stood still.

As I rock I let my mind drift out of the nursery and to summer and the red-circled days of summer.

Reunions! Summer reunions!

And I think about the people who attend these reunions. A long, long time ago, they were all young, just as these three boys are now.

Somebody’s brother. Somebody’s sister. Playing together. Bonding. Feeling that family pride that is born somewhere inside like a tiny flame and lives on forever.

It starts here, I think. This pride thing.

It is the invisible thread that binds reunion goers together. It is the excited feeling behind the name tag, the sparkle in the eyes hidden behind the progressive lenses, the laughter that bubbles up out of nowhere; laughter that spans the barriers of bridges long since burned and time and distance.

They come to these reunions from every walk of life and they come from all over. Farmers. Accountants. Teachers. Nurses and doctors. Ranchers and lawyers. Grandmas and grandpas. Great grandpas and grandmas.

They converge at halls and Legions and other venues wearing nametags and smiles and hope.

They want to remember. They want to go back.

I watch my grandsons play quietly in the pool of sunlight on the floor. Once, each and every one of these nametag-bearing seniors was young like this.

Once, a long time ago, they were somebody’s kid, somebody brother, somebody’s sister.

Once they ate their lunch out of a tin lunch pail, suffered the indignities of the strap, learned long division, struggled through exams and failure, experienced their first kiss and their first heartbreak. And then, one day, they moved on.

Now they have come back.

I got to take a walk down memory lane with a few old timers’ from Rimbey the other day at their reunion and as I talked and mixed and mingled with them all it was like the clock in the hall spun backwards for several decades and they were all young again.

“This is my sister,” a grey haired lady with a sweet smile told me, as she introduced me to the woman sitting beside her. “She’s 91.”

And the pride in her voice was not dimmed by time or age or separation, but like my grandsons, it was strong.

It was, in fact, unmistakable.


Just Posted

UPDATE: Highway 2 lanes were closed due to milk truck fire near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Ice fishing enjoyed by all

Crestomere 4-H members enjoy ice fishing

Major announcement planned for Tuesday at Westerner Park

Hopes are that the CFR will be relocating to Red Deer

Volunteers busy

Volunteers at Pas Ka Poo Park

Hockey heroes and every day heroes needed

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes

Volunteers busy

Volunteers at Pas Ka Poo Park

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Fatal collision in B.C. involves Alberta family

Vehicles have since been cleared and the highway is open.

Bank of Canada hikes interest rate to 1.25%, cites strong economic data

The rate increase is expected to prompt Canada’s large banks to raise their prime lending rates

Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by Canadian immigrant

“This is a good example, I think, that will be helpful to change views about immigration. And maybe for Mr. Trump himself to consider immigrants as contributors to advancing science, advancing our societies.”

Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team

The rival Koreas took major steps toward reducing their bitter animosity

Canada, U.S. lead call for sanctions against North Korea

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting in Vancouver to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announces engagement

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh engaged to clothing designer Gurkiran Kaur

Hijab-cutting case highlights ethical issues with putting kids in spotlight

A Toronto police investigation has concluded a girl’s hijab was not cut by a scissors-wielding man as she walked to school

Most Read