Sunday, July 5, 2009

It's A Family Reunion

I have a lot of first cousins on my mother's side of the family. My grandmother birthed 17 children, four died in infancy. I never knew my Aunt Helen, she died before I was born but I knew the rest of mother's siblings. There are only four of my mother's siblings still living.

Over the years, we've gathered for a lot of funerals, often in clusters. My mother died two weeks after her oldest sister, my Aunt Mabel. After my mother's funerals we (a group of first cousins) gathered and mused as to why we had never held a family reunion. We decided to rectify this oversight and give ourselves a reason to come together other than to bury someone. The Hall (my mother's maiden name) family reunion committee was formed, consisting of my sister Rhonda, my brother James (aka Jimmy), and my cousins, Michelle, Jennifer, Betty Rose, and Laura Ann. By the third planning call the group had reduced to me, Michelle, Jennifer, and Betty Rose. The others had succumbed to the dreaded family reunion planning committee dropout syndrome.

After months of the family reunion planning committee meeting via bi-weekly conference calls, we held our first Hall Family reunion from July 3-July 5. It was well attended with 80+ family members joining in the festivities. We talked, we ate, we sang and we danced. Members of my grandmother's family, the Flemings, also participated in the reunion and I got to meet people whose names I had only heard in family stories told by my grandmother. Then there were those of us who knew each other but had not been together other than for a funeral in years and it was a delight to reconnect in an atmosphere that didn't invCheck Spellingolve sorrow. In an email to my friend Mark, I summed it up thus: "Our family reunion went well. Only one relative drank too much and she wasn't a mean drunk. There were no fights, and only a few minor insults. We may do it again in two years."

I neglected to add that I did The Twist with my cousin Betty Rose in front of a room full of people, laughed loudly and often, hugged a lot and was hugged a lot in return, and that a good time was had by all.

9 comments:

Beth said...

This is so cool, Sheria. My family has been doing a reunion for 60+ years, but attendance is dwindling. I didn't attend this year, and I've been trying to get to them more often. I think it's wonderful that you and your cousins were able to put this together, and have such a great turnout! Great job!

Indigo said...

I have no family to speak of, so when Paul's family gets together twice a year it's a treat for me. Every summer and during the Christmas holidays they all gather to catch up on each other's lives.

Last Christmas I had the honor of hosting 20+ people in my small house.

I'm so glad your family did this, there is a connection that is sought in families you can't get anywhere else. Loved the pictures and post. Sounds like you have a wonderful, loving time. (Hugs)Indigo

Mark said...

I can't get over the idea of a woman going through childbirth 17 times. Good Lord, she must have been one helluva strong woman. And then the raising or all those kids. Oy. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Dannelle said...

Your reunion story brings a grin and watery eyes (darn those pollens, lol) Love the pictures- there are some real good lookin' gals and guys! Glad you had the opportnity to reminisce and meet new members in your family- Dannelle

Donna said...

It's wonderful that you have such close family ties.

Joy said...

This is making me wish we'd have a family reunion instead of getting together at funerals. Yours sounds great, and I'm glad you included pictures. Bet the food was delicious and the stories good!

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Sheria,
What a good looking family! Lots of happy beautiful smiling faces. I am so glad that it was fun and went so well.

Much love,

SB

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Fantastic that you pulled this off. I must have made your heart sing :o)

warrior scout said...

this post is so full of joy and peace. what a great way to start my friday.
and i love that smile on your face. you may very well have needed that more than you know...
you're glowing girl.