I first saw this picture on a card I received years ago from someone with a sense of humour that matches mine. I displayed it in my house recently when my extended family came for a reunion.
About a year ago, my husband and I offered to host a reunion for my family. It was to be a time of reconnecting and enjoying each others’ company.
My parents, John and Margaret Enns, were married in March of 1949. Dad passed away twenty-two years ago, but Mom is still doing relatively well at 93 years of age.
My family—Mom, my brother, my sister, and our children and grandchildren—gathered at our farm on the August long weekend. I was sure someone would be ill or unable to attend for some other reason, but everyone turned out in fine form. All thirty-five of us.
I wouldn’t consider offering to host a gathering like this very often, but we managed it with the help of various family members and lots of lists. There were lists for Accommodations (our beds were all full, a number of families brought their own campers/RVs, and we rented two RVs from friends who offered them for our use), Activities (which turned out to be mostly free playtime for the kids and visiting for the adults), and Food (meal plans, amounts required, grocery lists, to-do lists…).
Looking back, I believe we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. With eighteen children ranging in age from six months to fifteen years, there was no shortage of action. We had cleaned our tarp-covered Quonset to within an inch of its life, and that’s where we ate and visited, and also where the kids played with sidewalk chalk and rode their bikes. To transport our food from house to Quonset, we were blessed to use a neighbour’s Gator. My dear mom had first dibs on rides to and fro.
I am most thankful to the Lord Jesus for my family. We miss Dad a lot. He made his love for all of us known with few words. Mom was very brave in keeping up with all the activities during the weekend, as her mobility is becoming more of a challenge. But I know she wouldn’t have missed this for the world.
I’m thankful we could celebrate the heritage of faith that has been passed along from generation to generation. That the children and grandchildren have had the opportunity to respond to God’s love and plan for their lives. That we could celebrate strong marriages and active parenting and warm relationships and our off-the-wall sense of humour. All these things connect us, and are, I believe, well worth celebrating.
Thank You, Lord, for families and faith and functions where we can celebrate them together.