chairs. Others stood by the bank side and watched kids and adults, who thought they were kids, play in the murky pond. Music couldn't out blast the laughter. Rumbles of conversations collided into each other and everyone tried to hear everyone's talk so that they didn't miss out on any memories being chatted about.
Uncles made body noises as if they were teenage boys. Aunts smiled and giggled just like little girls. And everyone played with the four legged guest that manage, unexpectedly, to be invited as part of the family. One uncle kissed a woman after losing his wife a couple of years ago. That, my dear, shocked everyone. And, if you were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of that scene you also were lucky enough to hear the whispers that went along with the ooooh's that followed.
We played a dice game which I nicknamed "the Stupid Game". We played it until we were stupid. Little girls caught little hoppy toads. Boys got muddy and family got...family. Bugs bit. Humidity rolled in. Storm clouds teased us but never came to pour its buckets on us. Some people might say it was perfect,
Only, it wasn't. People were missing. Aunts, brothers, sisters, cousins and grandparents. My mother. Tears trickled from the sides of my eyes and moistened my sweaty face. I really missed my mother.
I wanted to bring pictures but I left them back home tucked in the plastic storage bin. Her memory didn't stay there though. I" brought her" there with spoken stories of days from my childhood when we came to Uncle Bills. "I remember the shirt she wore that said, "I'm with Stupid"." In the picture it pointed straight to my step dad. He stood, in the picture, shirtless, clueless that he stood in the direct hit of the teasing pointing finger t- shirt, while he was eating a huge slice of watermelon. Those were the good ol'days. Those were moments I wish I could get back. (Please take time to view past family reunion pictures at end of this blog)
A very special part of the group is not in these pictures anymore. Aunt Pat. No one can fill the void she left behind. Not even that woman who was kissing her husband at this picnic. Aunt Pat was beyond talented. She crocheted everything. She taught me how to make granny squares. Oh my, the torture when I missed something and stitched with a wrong count. Aunt Pat, with all the love in her heart, would remove the stitches....rows and rows of them, until she came to the spot where I messed up and made me do it over again from that point. Oh gosh, how I hated when she did that. Each time she ripped out a row, I would cringe. But Aunt Pat was patient with me . She never yelled. She just taught me and had me start again so that I got it right. Loop, hook, what ever you called those things my hands and yarn were doing, she showed me how to do them and do them right... with a forgiving heart. I loved that about Aunt Pat. I sure wish she were sitting around that picnic table with her painted fake nails and super glue. (Another fun memory tee hee)
Family. Reunions of the heart. Far from perfect. But loved.
Isn't that how God sees us?
I am so amazed that God sees us with forgiving hearts. Each of us are His children. Imperfect, having to start over again. He doesn't yell when we mess up. He cares when we do and directs us to start again and again, and again. His goal for us to is be made perfect and to one day...get it right. He loves the frog catching, noise making, water splashing, mud up to our ears, imperfect watermelon eating bug slapping family. He gives us laughter, memories, protection from the storms and love.
We don't have to wait for a family reunion to go to Him. He provides that daily walk through His son, Jesus. It doesn't take planning and phone calls, hotel stays and travel. It takes saying Yes to Jesus, right where we are and then there is a never ending reunion between you and the Father.
Reunions? Yes, one day, because of Jesus, I will be reunited with loved ones. I pray that the ones who sat around the tables, swam in the pond, ate meatballs and hotdogs, and laughed will bask in the
SON and find the Joy of the Lord. Oh what a day that will be.
Heavenly Father, Thank you for choosing us to be a part of Your family. How secure we feel knowing that we don't ever have to wait to come see you. You let us dine and laugh and be in Your awesome presence at all times. And Lord, when we go away from You, Thank You for always letting us run back home to You, our "Papa God."
In Jesus Name... Amen
For the family.....Enjoy the pictures I didn't take with me to the reunion. God Bless all of you as you remember.... through the years....
|Mary Rush (my grandmother) Sarah, (Mom)|
Aunt Pat, and my brother Buddy
|Grandpa Herman Rush (RT) |
|Aunt Joan Rush, mom and Uncle David Rush|
|My Cousin Meatball (Sherry) and ME !!!|
|My brother Chester Stoll and my cousin Timothy Rush|
|Aunt Pat Rush and my cousin Mickey (Michelle)|
|Grandpa with my step father, Bob Stoll|
|Meatball and me "Mary Lou"|
|Mom and Aunt Joan|
|My Cousin Shelly, Meatball and me.|
|Uncle Bill Rush and Uncle Bob|
|My nieces Belinda and Krystal with Aunt Nancy Cavey, grandpa and Bob|
|Lloyd Cavey, and Aunt Nancy Cavey|
|Belinda, Mom and Krystal|
|Tom and Barb on the right with Aunt Pat and Uncle Bob|
|Barbara while pregnant with Belinda, Meatball and me|