the family gathers….at funerals

like a lot of large extended families, our tends to gather together only at funerals.

two weekends ago we experienced this yet again when Martin’s Aunt Charlotte died. Martin saw people he hasn’t seen in 9 or more years and I meet family members that I had never seen before. It’s not that these people weren’t important to him. It’s that everyone is widely scattered that it is hard to get the various elements of the family all in one spot at one time.

The myth inside our heads is always “oh, I can do a reunion any old year, (blank) is more important this time, so I’ll just skip the reunion” and that’s assuming that your family even tries to have a reunion.

I’m gonna start pushing reunions more.

Here’s a photo of the folks that Martin and I gather with gather fairly frequently (at least once a year and often twice):

the small version of the clan

the small version of the clan

and this is a photo of all the family members who gathered for aunt Charlotte’s funeral (some of these folks had never met before and some hadn’t seen each other in almost a decade!):

most of the erntire clan

most of the entire clan

next time I have to pose for a group photo, some one please remind me that I look much skinnier BEHIND other people. there’s too much of my fat arm showing in this last photo. oh well.

Anyway. family is important.

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3 thoughts on “the family gathers….at funerals

  1. When my sister got married, all the family traveled to North Carolina. At her wedding and reception I visited with family I hadn’t seen in months – some in nearly a year. And these were family members who live within an hour of me!
    Why we had to drive twelve hours to see each other, when we live less than 60 minutes from each other, I will never understand.
    You’re right. Family is important. We need to be more intentional about remembering that fact.

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  2. The year that my grandfather died (1976 — I was 23 [and so was my cousin E]) was the first time *ever* that E and L had ever met. Granny put her foot down and said that the next time all of her family got together would **NOT** be at her funeral. That summer we had our first reunion. Except for the 2 years we couldn’t gather because her health was too fragile (1st coronary at 94), we’ve met ever since.

    2 nine-hour drives from south Georgia in 3 days was brutal, but it was worth every minute of it. We do the whole weekend. Friday night and all day Saturday. Rather like an SCA event. :-S (Hubby’s family does 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon, and I really don’t like that — you can’t talk and visit in only 3 hours!).

    Outside of “M, the tardy” showing up at L’s church as everybody was leaving, we had a crowd of 55. 🙂 I can’t recommend them enough!

    When Granny was living, they happened at Her House (thankyouverymuch). Now, The Saturday Thang, is at my cousin L’s church.

    Occasionally L can come in from Washington state, but folks gather from south Georgia to Washington DC all in Wise Co., VA.

    I can’t recommend them enough. Set a date, and a place and let everybody know. The attendance at the first one may be small — unless you set a date in 2009. And keep doing it. There will probably be folks that choose not to come — but with enough notice, the folks that want to be there *will* be there. We bring food. I’m still waddling from Saturday.

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  3. Family is absoultely important! You have to be pushy about getting together to celebrate the good times and not just the bad. My family is small and spread out. But I try to see them as much as I can. Even if it takes 2 planes to get there and costs an arm and a leg. It’s important. My daughter has seen her great grandma’s in Wisconsin very summer becuase I push for it. I think it is so special for her to be able to see them and spend time with them. My husband’s family is large and they take for granted that we can always get together soemtime. But, none is getting any younger and people do die. And then it’s too late. I lost both my parents very young and I have since I make it a priority to see family as much as possible. We can be here one day and gone the next. Hug your mother, father, sisters or brothers. Enjoy the times you have together. They can be fleeting.

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