How family matters to me

Family. We all tend to take our family for granted at one time or another. I was recently speaking with one of my brothers and both of my sisters about the family get togethers that we would have every month growing up. Man, how I dreaded these get togethers when I was younger! It seemed like such a chore to get ready for everyone to come over. There was the cooking and cleaning to do, the refereeing to do among those who were squabbling – both the children and sometimes the adults! -, the setting and then clearing of the tables. Yes, I said tables. I’m the baby of 5 children who range in age from 49 to 34. Between Mom and Dad, us kids, the spouses and the children of each sibling, we needed more and more space every year!

Little did we know that there would come a day when we would be so spread out that we would hardly ever see each other…all of us in the same room at the same time…but maybe once a year now, and even that is becoming more and more difficult. Tommy is in Hawaii, Vickie lives in South Texas, Debbie is currently residing in Floriday, Rusty is living in Nevada and I am still holding down the fort in North Texas. All of my siblings have children, and some of them have a few children of their own now or are working on it! Even my nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews are spread out amonth the United States. A far cry from all of us being within a 15-20 minute car ride of each other.

We always wondered why it was so important to our Mother and her sister and brother, that all the kids keep in touch with one another. We would go to McBurney family reunions, whether we wanted to or not. Family gatherings were important to my Uncle Fred, now deceased, and still are with my Mom and Aunt Laine. Now, I can understand why. It’s important to know where you came from. It helps to get you to where you are going and who you are becoming. There is support and love that only a family can give.

Vickie and I decided that it’s been too long since all of us kids, our families, uncles and aunts, cousins and their families and extended family on all sides have gotten together. We’re currently working on putting together a family reunion for June 2004. We’ve decided to hold this family reunion in honor or our Mom, Uncle and Aunt. After all, that is only fitting. They’ve worked so hard at keeping us all together, no matter how many miles may seperate us, we know that we can always come home to our family…and what a wonderful comfort that is.