After an unforeseen change in plans, I ended up staying in town this weekend instead of in California attending my sister-in-law's wedding. I was sad that I was not be able to go to the wedding, but because of it, I was able to attend a family reunion for my mother's side of the family.
My great-grandparents were hard working farmers. I adored them. I loved their calloused hands, their simple way of life, their plainly decorated home, their genuine smiles. They have both been gone for many years, but this weekend we celebrated their lives as we, their posterity, renewed our connections with each other.
As I wandered from table to table looking at the faces of these relatives, listening to their chatter and seeing their smiles, I relished in the fact that I am blessed to be a part of their family tree. They are good people. They are kind and funny. In each of them I can see little things that remind me of the ones who started it all- Lecta and Theron.
I could see my Grandma Lecta's smile on the face of one of her sons. I could see Grandpa Theron's eyes on another son's face. And those same traits that I loved have been passed down from generation to generation.
It was good for my heart to be among them for just a little while this weekend. Through their smiles and hugs, I could feel my great-grandparents very close by.
I am grateful for families this weekend. For the one I spent time with today. For the ones who are in California celebrating a long awaited marriage.
No family is perfect- but I'm grateful to be part of a family none-the-less. It's something that will be mine for eternity. It will be nice to leave the messiness of life behind us one day and enjoy one last great family reunion. But for now, I'm grateful that I get to share the messy moments of life with those I love most.
In the end- family is all we have. And today, I am grateful for mine.
**My only regret is that my camera is with Erik at the wedding- the only pictures I have are in my own memory.