Mother cherished getting her family together and she would work tirelessly for months in advance to make these gatherings special, even when family funds perhaps weren’t at their most flush. One of the things she liked the most was incorporating an element of surprise into the itinerary whenever possible. There was the horseback-riding trip up the mountain in Arizona, a dinner boat cruise in Lake Geneva (how many types of Evergreen trees? Anyone?), a wonderful surprise birthday party for Dad in West Virginia, The authentic hay ride to dinner in Steamboat Springs with all of us snuggled under blankets and Michelle serenading us (endlessly, I might add) with Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s “Islands in the Stream” among many, many other great events at numerous fantastic gatherings. Regardless of the amount of work that went into each reunion, Mother wore a constant smile on her face throughout the entire time the family was together.
So, it was a wonderful moment when, while cleaning out some old journals, I stumbled upon this letter below from Mom and Dad dated August 3, 1993 - twenty years ago today.
What strikes me today is how important these reunions continue to be to all of us, even though Mom and Dad are no longer with us. In fact, there are times when we find ourselves tripping over each other – fighting to host the next get-together or making excuses as to why we should get together – a golf outing, a child’s play, etc. ... and before you know it, a standard weekend turns into 4 or 6 or family members drinking and laughing for days. Even more interesting, when we get together now, typically at least part of the time is spent talking about previous family reunions!
It is comical and it is wonderful at the same time. And, the most wonderful thing about it – is how it would surely make Mom smile.