Once a year in the middle of July my Aunt hosts a family gathering. I look forward to this day for it is a day that embodies the meaning of family. Four generations gather together. My cousins and I grew up together, spending our time at my Grandmother’s house, swimming in her pool, sleeping in her extra bedrooms. Our memories are collective ones. Because we each remember slightly differently, we tell a story from our own unique perspective, but the events we discuss are common to the eight of us. We fondly remember my grandparents spending a summer evening swinging in their screen house. That swing is now an antique, in perfect condition, and it is where my great-Aunt, the sister of my deceased Grandmother, spent the day swaying, watching her great-great nieces and nephews play. To say she resembles my Grandmother is an understatement, and when I caught glimpses of her from the corner of my eye it was as if my Gram was on that swing, laughing and reminding us to enjoy our babies because they grow so quickly. My Gram was in fact there, in spirit, watching us as we enjoyed the house she built with my Grandfather all those years ago...the house my Aunt now owns and opens to us whenever we come to visit. This house has been part of our lives since we were born. This house has been home for anyone who needed a resting place for a day, a week, a month. It’s doors were always open. This home built with love, filled with love, shared with love, is still where we go when we go “home”.
The builders of this home as no longer here. They now reside in a state of permanent peace. Their children have raised children who are now raising children. The eight of us now have thirteen children under the age of 15 and two more will be joining us within the next 9 months! The legacy of love my Grandparents created endures to this day. It will continue on for even though many of us keep in touch through Facebook, blogs, Christmas Cards and email, once a year we gather, we share a meal, we share stories, we share memories, we laugh, we play, we love.
Thank you Aunt and Uncle for the memories we continue to make.