Family on my dad’s side come together for a Christmas Meal usually about a week before Christmas. We just returned from a house full at my Uncle’s. I filled up on Honey Baked Ham, macaroni and cheese, green beans, sweet potato casserole, potato salad, something else that was on my plate that I can’t remember. Dessert was home made banana pudding.
Over the years we have lost some dear family members and added some new. Some were missing today due to living elsewhere, recovering from exams, throwing their own party or watching the Panthers actually….I won’t say it.
From my great mathematics ability I counted about 25 of us there. Had all attended, the count would have been over 30. This was a landmark for us because last year at this time my dad was recovering from his 2nd surgery in 6 months and was unable to attend. He is now the oldest of this group at the age of 85. He lost his older brother in November 2010 to a heart attack. His 2 younger brothers were there; one a retired Presbyterian Minister and the other one who is a bachelor with all the money.
We are all so use to each other it is as if we pick up right where we left off especially for those like me who live 3 hours away. I was in college with my brother and 2 cousins all at the same time. While I was the freshman, my cousins were both Juniors and my brother was a Senior. We had one car between the 4 of us. Re-phrase: There was one car between the three of them because they never let me use it. I made a point to remind them how this lack of transportation affected my college experience. None were the least bit sympathetic of their outright devotion to the ugliest brown Dodge Monaco on the planet. This boat of a car managed to get them to the “water hole” as it was called for useful time spent on one of 2 pinball machines and some very nasty beverages. The “water hole” was a corner gas station that offered or still offers a place for the students to hang out in what I would describe as the usual dump. As the typical family feud over the car continued, they blamed each other for leaving me out on the street.
All enjoyed our time together along with a great meal. Conversations rendered themselves to who is doing what, where and why and why isn’t everyone who is suppose to be there not there? After the meal some sat and yawned ready for their afternoon nap, others flew out the door to catch what was left of the Panthers game while others were in the kitchen cleaning up.
I looked around and saw faces that had aged, bellies that had grown and kids that use to be shorter than me who were now in or out of college that I didn’t recognize.
Standard posture for our family who is close in proximity and heart. When you see each other all the time it doesn’t take long to be together except for those of us who live elsewhere. From one who lives 3 hours away it gives family a whole new meaning.
I am blessed to be a part of a group knit together as we are even in our differences. As the saying goes, “we are blood related” and it is thick.
God in his great mercy gave me a blood line tracing back to the 1700’s that I know of. The intricacies and interwoven connections are indisputably God’s doing. There is no way that my family came out of some “big bang theory.”