Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Family Olympics.

Been a while since I've been here. Been busy, been grieving, been tired, and crying and well...away.
It was my original plan to be on vacation this long weekend to care for my dad, so my mom could take a much needed break, and head out to a family reunion, the likes of which are rarely seen.....
After my dad moved on to Heaven, I was faced with the option of staying at home alone, or going along with my mom.....and with her prodding, I followed her.
This family reunion on her side happens every four years and consists of the members of 5, I believe, original family members and their children.....and grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Its kinda like the olympics, only with guitars and fiddles instead.
So we set out on Friday morning, with mixed emotions, and still stinging from the rawness of the week. We were tired, emotional, and had yet to spend any time on our own, and somewhere within us, we still needed to make the connection to these my mother's family.
And so we arrived.
And I must say, I have never seen so many high waisted pants in one place in all my life.
When I picked up my mother to leave that morning, she was concerned about my choice of tube top. I reminded her of my other distant relatives who previously got pregnant out of wedlock and another who used to sell drugs.....surely my tube top, would not cause the uproar that she feared.
We arrived and I kept my hoodie on, just to make her happy. I looked around at these people who some had never seen a city, and promptly went and put something on with thick straps.
It was a challenging weekend, people looking at us, the family who "just lost their dad" and didnt know what to say. Or, they, complete strangers would come and hug on us, til, in the words of my brother, "we just smelled like a perfume counter at a cheap drugstore."
It amazed me, how different we were, how our lives are completely opposite, and yet I was most struck by one particular family.
Jack and Judy. They have six kids from the ages of 1-14. They have a ranch north of Fort St. John, and Judy homeschools. They all wear really high waisted pants. Their oldest child, a girl, wears a head covering, because even though her mother doesnt, she has studied the Bible and feels called to do it. At first, I thought, wow.....I'm glad that's not me....and then I talked a little to Judy, and to some of her kids. We taught her how to play Rook, and after that she was in for any game we had going. Jack was reserved, but I noticed him watching me a lot.....probably praying that his little girl, who seemed to be awestruck by me, would quickly learn that I was too worldly for my own good.
He played the guitar, and I had brought mine along, so one night, he was on the way to the bathroom past my door, and I stopped him and asked him a guitar question. He answered the best he could and grabbed my guitar and played for a while, and when he got the courage, he looked at me with his kind eyes, and softly asked me about my dad. We told him of our week, and he gave words of comfort, and words of prayer for us. Not a judging bone in his body towards me, only concern and pain for our loss.
Maybe, its not so bad being related to some of these people.....but then again....there were some.......

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