Monday, August 22, 2016

Family Reunion

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a 3-day family reunion. It was my dad's brothers and their kids. I needed the time away and it did me a world of good!

Before the reunion, "stressed" didn't even begin to touch how I felt about being home! I felt tense, short-tempered, irritable, angry, frustrated, hurt, betrayed, undermined... I thought for sure, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown!

But 3 days of laughing and talking, playing with little and playing new games, great food and new recipes, calm and peace did me a world of good-- I really needed the peace!

My mom, two uncles (and corresponding aunts), six cousins (and five spouses.. a couple of which I hadn't met before), and over a dozen of the next generation were in attendance. We had littles running all over the place- splashing in the water, making chalk drawings on the sidewalk, watching movies, playing with toys.... I loved it!

Cousins!!!

But something I noticed.... something wonderful!
Those little kids were all pretty young- all under 10. There were a couple of tinies that were just barely walking, and if you've dealt with kids that age, you know that they fall- and not always the cute little bounce to their butt. Sometimes, the fall includes a whack to the head or a bruised ego... and crying. And here's the thing I noticed: No matter who the parents were or where they were, someone was there to pick up the sad little one. Even if the adult wasn't one of his own parents.. or her direct aunt or uncle.. someone was always willing to rush to the baby, pick him or her up and snuggle and dry tears. We were all there for each other.

As I was driving home, a 6-hour drive, I had a lot of time to think about this. And I realized something- This is how I think heaven would be- we're all there together, people we know and love, people we worry about and care for (the kind of caring that involves actually doing something, not just the feels). And no matter what hurts, how or why it hurts, there's someone... Someone there to hug the hurt away, dry the tears, and set you down to continue your adventure!