family and legacy

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Recently, my aunt interviewed me for one of her graduate classes.  The interview was an in-depth study of a person including their childhood and current life.  To finish out the childhood section of the interview, she asked if there was 'any other event that was significant to my childhood and development that I wanted to include."

I had an idyllic childhood; I always felt safe and encouraged, but also knew that there were rules and expectations to follow.  My immediate family; parents and sisters, was filled with love, laughter, and memories.  The significant part of my childhood and development that I wanted to include was something that greatly contributed to the person I was learning to be.

I was blessed (beyond belief) to have all four grandparents well into my twenties.  And from there, I also had aunts, uncles, and cousins that were daily participants in my life.  When we slept over at our grandparents' house, it wasn't just my sisters and I - but more often than not a whole group of the grandkids at once.  I understood from a very, very young age that family was something I was abundantly blessed with.

Family was not just the immediate group that lived in our home, family was my cheering section; those people rooting for my life.

And boy, have I been blessed with a cheering section.  One that has managed to out-cheer and out-number any negativity that might try to intimidate me in the path of life.

To this day, I still feel this way.  We regularly spend holidays with extended family, they attend celebrations and parties for my kids, send us snail mail, and organize traditions to do all together. And Brandon and I want our kids to know and feel that they have family (people that love, support, and are invested in them) that far extend just our immediate family.

As a grandparent-less granddaughter now, I am still blessed to celebrate THREE family reunions in the summer.  I love attending the reunions as a legacy of my grandparents.  Their blood and genes and stories still live on in me (and my parents and sisters) and now in our kids too.  We are not solitary in the world; in the scheme of life and history - but rather part of a very long chain of those that came before us.

We have such a great, fun time at the family reunions; playing with cousins, catching up on everyone's lives, eating awesome food and desserts - many times supplied by family members.  But quite honestly, to try to speak to the magnitude of gratitude and blessings I feel about our family and reunions is impossible.

The Adams Reunion:  we attend as a legacy to my grandfather (my Dad's dad), who was one of twenty-one children, only six of whom remain today.  We spent a cool June Saturday playing on the playground and merry-go-round with our cousins.  There was a pinata, delicious food, and so many people who shared our Adams cheekbone structure.

The Plunkett reunion:  we attend as representatives of my grandma (my Dad's mom).  Gram was one of eight kids, only four of whom still here today.  We had a good old fashion day of fun with our aunts, uncles and cousins.  Greyson loved playing softball with the guys, we had kids' games including the parachute and the silly-dress-up game (a favorite that I've now inherited!!), and playing the creek nearby looking for crayfish.  The big dodgeball game at the end of the evening is something that Greyson is still talking.

The Uzelac reunion:  we attend as legacy of my grandma (my Mom's mom).  My grandma was one of fourteen, ten of whom are still with us today.  The kids got their faces painted, played in the bouncy houses and chased their cousins around all day.  Brandon and Grey were in their glory to participate in the home run derby (both three times!), and the big kids were even brave enough to attempt a try at singing in the talent show (Florida-Georgia Line's 'Cruise') which they were thankfully saved by their Aunt Uch when they got a little stage fright-y midsong!

In the words of Greyson as we were leaving each reunion this summer, "Can we please come here again to play with our family?"
yes. always.

to my grandparents in heaven,
i miss you every single day.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry you've lost all your grandparents. I was born with (and still have) three of my four. I am dreading the day I have to live without them. They add such depth to our lives, our experiences.
    Sending you hugs!