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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summer Reunions

Most people I know gather together with family during the summer months to reconnect and catch up with one another. My Mother and her seven brothers were always so good to do that every year and they would go fun places and do exciting things for their week-long reunions. I haven't attended one of those reunions since I was still a kid and we went deep sea fishing off Baja, California.

My Dad's family had such an interesting history with his Dad divorcing his Mom after she was institutionalized in the State Mental Hospital back in the 40s. The five kids were scattered to various relatives and the youngest adopted out-right to strangers. So reunions have been rare and strange on that side of the family.

Since my father passed away nearly four years ago and Rob's dad passed over eight years ago, our families have only gathered all together once and that was for Dani's and Kelly's wedding last June. Thank goodness for weddings which pull families together to celebrate a happy time. Funerals can pull us together too, but it isn't the same joyful reunion, usually.

This summer I haven't seen my brothers or my mother at all. My brother, Jim came from Colorado and my Mom from Arizona in February when Bryan was leaving on his mission, but I haven't seen Mark and his family since Kevin, Bryan and I were there in November 2009. Typically, families do summer vacations together and meet up for some kind of reunion, but that hasn't really happened in either Rob's or my families since our Dads passed away. Maybe gathering family for reunions was a father's role?

I did; however, have a couple of fun reunions this summer. My 30th high school reunion was held on July 2, 2010 in Delta, Utah. That was an enjoyable evening of seeing people I knew slightly but enjoyed visiting with since we have so much of our past in common. I found we had lost several members of our class to death since our 20th reunion and that seems to have drawn us even closer together.

Two of my best friends from high school were unable to make it to the class reunion, so we held our own "Hinckley Girls" reunion a week later at a restaurant in Orem. We had such a great time remembering old times and laughing. I've known these women since we were three or four years old, we literally grew up together in the same small town. We all went to different colleges and got married and have had varied experiences since then, but how fun it was to renew those relationships. The evening wasn't long enough to say everything to bring us completely current, even though we stayed quite late. We vowed to not wait so long to get together again as we separated at the end of the night.

Reunions are important; I wish I could reunite with family members on a more consistent basis. Visiting with those from our past helps us remember who we are, where we came from, and how much those people mean to us. It is also helpful to rediscover our past and perhaps visit some suppressed memories. I'm grateful to those who share a common history with me; they are becoming more and more valued with each passing year.

Delta High School Class of 1980
20th Class Reunion 7/1/2000

30th Class Reunion 7/2/2010

Hinckley Girls Reunion 7-9-10

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