Gilmer Free Press
We’re Having a Family Reunion——-We Need It
We’re having a family reunion, here’s every reason in the world to not to go. The price of gas, for example, it’s expensive, especially for the ones who are going to have to travel further than anyone, and his business is struggling.
There isn’t a lot of time or money for extraneous things like family relations. But he’s still coming, and he is going (kiss every female within arm’s length- some of them twice. He’ll even kiss some of the males, he always does. We’ll laugh a lot because Bob will be there, and use we’ll be together.
We’re having a family reunion Dick will be there even though it’s been a challenging year for him. Major problems at work. Two Daughters getting married. Heavy responsibilities at his church. Plus he lives in California-as if it isn’t tough enough, you know what I mean? But he’s coming, and he’ll try again to convince us that only did chop his front tooth on rim of a basketball hoop- on his way down. We’ll enjoy being with him and his family. We always do.
We’re having family reunion; Dad will be there, of course. He will be the guest of honor. His 85th birthday is the focal point of this little get-together. It was his wife, Jean’s idea, and she’s footing the bill for the open house and working like crazy to get everyone there.
And to think some people worried that she would be a divisive influence in our family when dad married her less than a year after our Mom died.
She hasn’t replaced our mother; she’s carved out her own unique and important place in our family and our hearts. She’s been a blessing to Dad, And to us.
We’re having a family reunion.
Wanda Lynne and her family will be there. So will Bud and Kathy and I, along with our families.
In Fact, the only ones who won’t be there are our two oldest sisters, Jean and Helen.
This is worth nothing, because they are the two who have always been there for the rest of us.
My sister Jean was my second mother, with Helen coming in at a close third.
They’ve had similarly significant relationships with all of my brothers and sisters- especially with each other. I don’t think they’ve ever missed a major family event or get together.
But they’re going to miss this one. And that’s almost reason enough not to hold it.
For more than a year now, Jean has been waging an exhausting battle against cancer. And right now, the cancer is winning.
She is home-bound, and Helen’s is the home in which she is bound, Jean is too weak to make the trip, and Helen won’t leave her to come.
And so for the first time in anyone’s memory, we’ll be gathering without either of them.
To be honest, some have wondered if it’s appropriate to go ahead with the planned festivities, considering the circumstances.
I know Dad though about putting the whole thing on hold, but he decided that we needed to go ahead with the reunion- perhaps now more than ever.
“There are always lots of good reasons why we can’t get together - time, money, circumstances,“ he said in explaining his decision to me, “When it comes right down to it, there’s only one good reason why we should go ahead and do it anyway: we’re a family, and families need to pull together – even when itg isn’t easy.“
Especially when it isn’t easy.
And that’s why we’re having a family reunion. It isn’t because it’s easy or convenient or we’re really in the mood for fun and festivities right now, because it isn’t and we’re not.
We’re having a family reunion need to be a family because we’re a family and we now more than ever.
~~ Joseph Walker in 1995 ~~