Archive for September 19th, 2007

Enjoy Everyone You Can, While You Can

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Some families avoid full-scale reunions for the simple reason that various family members don’t get along. (“Mama wanted me to have that lava lamp!”)

Other clans, mine included, are handicapped by one or more of these difficulties:
* We have too many to fit into anything less than a convention center.
* We are so geographically spread out that it’s impossible to get us all together.
* Age (too young or too old to travel) or illness limits availability.

Our family’s solution has been to institute a series of mini-reunions uniting parts of the family – the theory being that seeing some of your kin socially is preferable to waiting futilely for everyone to get together, and is way better than gathering only at funerals.

To that end, a passel of Tanners, in-laws, and outlaws have passed through our house 3 times in the past few months. Only some relatives have been here for every event, but almost all made it to at least 1 gathering. Last weekend, a video link via laptop actually helped bring some of our absentees right into the party.

Naturally, jillions of photos are taken during these get-togethers. Like many of you, I don’t enjoy posing, but treasure the resulting family pictures. How precious these images really are hit me today when I looked at a 5-generations group shot from only four years ago. 3 from that time have since died. But – thanks to the many photos from our mini-reunions – their memories remain clear and sweet.

The lessons: get together with who you can, when you can, while you can. Take lots of pictures. (And don’t sweat the lava lamp.)