I'm going to break from the norm this week because this coming week end is our bi-annual Setzer-Prestwood family reunion. The reunion is always fun and we have a great time. At the same time it is always a little bittersweet because as I look around I see the holes in the crowd left by those who have passed away. This year seems especially poignant, we've lost so many in the past two years. Even knowing that we will walk with them again, we wish they were here.
They are here though. Looking at each other we will catch glimpses of Aunt Tanya's smile on Paige's sweet face while she plays. Or maybe my daddy when Dan's expression changes from quiet observation of the events of the day to knee weakening laughter as the situation unfolds. I look at Patty and see her mom, and Pam is the same. The last time I hugged George, I was reminded of Dennis the list goes on...
They're with us in other ways, too. That rush of peace you get when you quiet yourself and think about them will let you know that, even though they have gone, they are with us, they are happy and they see that we are carrying on. As it should be.
Some of us won't be here today because of economic, physical or geographic limitations. Ernie is at sea and others have business or other constraints keeping them away. It doesn't matter, their hearts will be with us. We're a family. What holds us together is more than shared DNA or legality. Margo will be Aunt Cookie, like Denny was Uncle Denny forever...they are part of us, held to us with bonds of love.
One of the my favorite quotes about family came not from some great philosopher but from an old movie:
"There are all sorts of different families, Katie. Some families have one mommy, some families have one daddy, or two families. And some children live with their uncle or aunt. Some live with their grandparents, and some children live with foster parents. And some live in separate homes, in separate neighborhoods, in different areas of the country - and they may not see each other for days, or weeks, months... even years at a time. But if there's love, dear... those are the ties that bind, and you'll have a family in your heart, forever." Mrs. Doubtfire