With my father’s job as a naval officer, we lived on the Pacific or Atlantic coasts most of my childhood. My parents made visits to Oklahoma regularly every year to see extended family. So, oddly enough, I regularly saw more of my cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents while I was living on the Pacific coast than I have since I graduated from college.
When the option to travel or move away from home became available, I wanted to spread my wings and fly far away for new adventures.
It didn’t take long for me to figure out there was an emptiness in my travels…I was missing my family.
I decided to move closer to home for a few years and was living in Oklahoma when my Aunt Tina passed away, but she and I had lovely visits before she left.
Hers was the first funeral of a close relative that I attended. I wasn’t expecting to laugh, but there were so many funny stories shared that intermingled with my tears were laughs. My family knows how to make me laugh.
After her memorial, the entire clan – we are a clan – went back to my Nana and Grandad’s house for comfort food and comfort.
Our family got together for a big Christmas in 2008. That’s the Christmas that Rex bought Grandad some scratch off lottery tickets for a birthday present and Grandad won 12,000 dollars…yeah, we all got a share. Thanks Grandad, Thanks Rex!
Three years after Aunt Tina passed, and one year after the big Christmas, my Nana passed away. The family again gathered, this time to remember the matriarch of the clan.
My Nana and Grandad were the unifying factor for us grandchildren up until that point. It was then my Aunt Kathy, to the last request of Nana, who bought “the home” full of family memories. She now goes by KoKo/CoCo to the great grand children and Grandad lives with her as “the tenant.”
It was this same home that we have gathered in after three funerals of loved ones and countless visits to the grandparents to find love and comfort. The walls are full of laughter and the fridge is always full of bottle water and cola.
There is still comfort within it’s walls. My Grandad sits in his recliner waiting to tell you a funny story or share a memory.
Koko asks you if you want a cold drink or cup of tea.
A place we are always welcome to stop and find safe harbor from the daily drivel of news or trials that weigh us down and we can expect to find family.
Family is forever and that brings me comfort too.
I can think of a better reason to have family gather, it’s called A Wedding and we should do more of those…or how about just because!
Auntie C suggested a reunion this summer, I can support that.