Family Reunion

Last Sunday was the day of our annual family reunion. It’s how I’ve spent the second Sunday in August for as far back as I can remember. It’s a gathering that has been happening every year for over 100 years.

Technically it’s the reunion of my maternal grandmother’s family, and as time marches on leaving new generations in its wake, many of us there are distant cousins.

It’s an amazing feast of course, as you would expect anytime Southerners gather for a picnic in the summer. I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture of the spread.

Back when I was growing up only a few people had to travel a great distance to attend, as nearly all of us still lived in the community. But these days over half the people there come from far away, thanks to the mobility that has come with this day and age.

It’s nice to spend an afternoon with family, enjoying a great meal. But my favorite thing about the family reunion is how happy it makes my mother. I’m sure it is the happiest day of the year for her. She is devoted to family and nothing makes her happier than a whole bunch of us gathered for a meal. These days the reunion is at a park, but she hosted a cookout at her house the night before, doubling her enjoyment of the weekend I suppose.

I heard someone saying that thanks to things like Skype, Facebook and email it really isn’t necessary to have old-fashioned family reunions any more. And I wonder if the tradition will survive when the older generation passes, and we continue to become more and more far-flung.

Whatever happens in the future, I’m sure there will be a family reunion as long as my mother is alive. And when the second Sunday in August rolls around next year, I know where I’ll be.