The celebration of life

Lei-anne's husband Jack took this photo of the five of us, together for the first time in years. Russellville, Alabama, September 2014

Lei-anne’s husband Jack took this photo of the five of us, together for the first time in years.
Russellville, Alabama, September 2014

“Grace is the celebration of life, relentlessly hounding all the non-celebrants in the world. It is a floating, cosmic bash shouting its way through the streets of the universe…”
Robert Farrar Capon

In at least three generations of my mother’s family, the males outnumber the females by a ratio of two to one, or more.  This means that I had only three female cousins on my mother’s side, but three times that many male cousins.

About a year ago, my sister sent me a picture of herself with these three special ladies, and pointed out that I was the only one missing in the photo. I started to photoshop myself in, but decided instead to go for the live photo session next time I was in North Alabama.  I was blessed to be able to be there recently, and here’s the photo to prove it. To my knowledge, this is the only time the five of us have been together for any photos.

It turned out to be a brilliant excuse to spend an evening together.  We all ate out at an Asian buffet and had a great time visiting with each other, our Aunt Peggy, and Lei-anne’s brave spouse Jack, the only one of our five husbands who came along for the get-together.  He snapped most of the photos.  Later, Carla’s family joined us, bringing along two of the newest blessings in our family, her twin grandchildren.

Though we couldn’t even remember exactly when we had last all been together at the same time (probably it was at Granny’s funeral in 1980) we had a great time chatting with each other, connected by family ties and distant memories.

In today’s world, increasing numbers of us live far from our extended families.  We may go for years and years without seeing each other.  Facebook and other social media have helped bridge this gap for many of us, but nothing beats good old-fashioned face-to-face conversations and warm hugs.

One of the greatest blessings of my life is the distant but never forgotten presence of a very large extended family, some of whom are related by blood, and some who became family through years of close association.  Though life has carried us far from each other geographically, and we seldom are able to visit, the memories and bonds are a continual source of strength.

I’m guessing you too have such special people in your life, dear ones who are your born or chosen family.  If there are some who are far away from you today, why not take a minute to get in touch via a mailed note, a call or a quick Facebook hello?  Today, let’s celebrate life by joining in the “floating cosmic bash” of shared love and connection.  If you are a non-celebrant, consider yourself hounded!

One year ago today:

Exciting today

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.

 

1 Comment

  1. Amen!
    -Alan

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