Family-In-Law

I just came home from our tri-annual Family Reunion—-Tom’s side of the family but for the last 39 years, my family too.

His two Bohemian parents produced nine children who produced their own children who produced their own children so there are a lot of us!  56 showed up at the reunion, another 9 who couldn’t be there, 4 are deceased.

We convened in Leavenworth, Washington in a beautiful setting.  Doctors, nurses, restaurant managers, therapists, car salesman, financial planners, teachers, engineers, caregivers, entrepreneurs, salespersons, carnivores and vegans laid down their roles for a few days.  Instead we basked in our common bond of cousin, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, brother, sister whether by blood or marriage.  The five-week old baby was passed around and we all marveled at how fast the kids grew since last time.

Glasses clinked in toasts of celebration, mountains of taco meat and toppings filled the table for one meal and two grills prepared the spread for another. A large tub of Red Vines sat on the counter and we tried to remember to write our names on our cups.

Some of the crowd!

I was 20 years old and somewhat shy when I first encountered this massive family and I wondered if I would ever learn the names, much less find a comfortable place.  Along the way, I realized it’s not about ME but about US.

In three years we will meet again.  All our stories will change by then in some way but we are all reading and writing the same book.

The names are quite dear to me now and the place very comfortable.

Does your family hold a reunion?

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2 Responses to “Family-In-Law”


  1. 1 Kristy Hamilton July 19, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Coming from large families, of seven children, five children, and even 13, if you include my mother’s family, there are several reunions being held every year or two. We live far from our extended families, and so we balance resources of time and finances as we consider what will work for us each summer when these various reunions are held. Of course, as our own children grow older and start to transition out of the family home, we hold our own “reunions” , or more accurately so far, “transition” weekend vacations together. We are also aware of the family seasons which bring weddings and babies, making the decisions of when to make the trip to see family across the many miles even more of a challenge. No one wants to miss the weddings of their cousin’s and friends, and summer visits to see people where we once lived are a lot of fun too.

    Those annual/bi-annual reunions? Yes, we eagerly look forward to attending whenever possible; they have been a highlight for us each year. Reunions are a time to cook and eat together, play volleyball, basketball, capture the flag, softball, invisible football, swim and canoe, fish, have campfires and scavenger hunts, and even shoot off rockets and spuds (potatoes). Oh yes, and there’s always a puzzle or two set up along with the choice crafts and theme evenings. We pray, sing the Doxology, laugh, and cry; we have supported each other through various seasons of life.

    The next generation moves right in to make it their own in the planning for the next time. We are pleased to spend time with whoever can make it, and always look forward to the next. It’s about “us”, even in the difficult times, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be, and I find that God has used these connections to heal and to stretch us. I love family and love our reunions, no matter what it is that brings us together for that time!

    • 2 Letitia Suk July 19, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      Kristy…Sounds like those are great times! I felt inspired reading about the reunions and appreciate the intentionality you demonstrate in your time choices.


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