Sunday, July 6, 2008

Cousins


It's been a busy weekend, it seems. The Senior Pastor left on Thursday for vacation, so I am holding down the fort right now. This isn't usually the busiest time of the year, but it seemed busy anyway, with July 4th activities and sermon-writing and learning, a ball game last night, and a sort-of mini family reunion today of some of my father's relatives. One of my cousins, who moved out to Massachusetts many years ago, e-mailed my brother and said he was going to be in town this weekend, driving in with his seven children, who range in age from 26 to 3. So we invited my dad's two sisters and their families, and had a little open house in the afternoon for whoever could come.

My dad is the "baby" of his family. That's what his sisters always said, whenever we got together. So everyone was there with a walker, and a few of my cousins were able to make it too. Sadly, even though most of us live in the same city (except for the one from Massachusetts), we don't get together very often. We reminisced about the times we got together on Sunday nights to watch Disney and eat grocery bags full of popcorn. I remembered the hand-me-downs I got from one of my cousins, the sleepovers at grandma and grandpa's house, the chaotic Christmases when we were all young.

My cousin is the same age as I am. But his father was an Evangelical pastor, and we didn't get together very often. I remember a few summer get-togethers, my uncle sitting on the back steps, playing the acccordian (he is a gifted musician), or at picnics. The picture above is one the the few of me with my cousin, when we were both small.

Even when I neglect them, I discover that the family connections are still there. It's the 21st century, and before leaving, we exchanged email addresses. Perhaps we'll keep in better contact from now on. We'll see.

I suspect that the same thing is true in our faith family: we neglect these most important connections, with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and for so many different reasons. But still we are connected, though not even suspecting the faces, the gifts, the relationships we miss. We're connected by the bread and the wine that we share, by music and food and prayers -- and so many other things. And still we let the days tumble by, when family reunions are happening all the time, with our unknown relatives.

8 comments:

LutheranChik said...

I feel the same way about my own extended family...it seems that we only get together for funerals. I actually do more with Fellow Traveler's extended family. Maybe it's a case of familiarity breeding contempt; I don't know.

FranIAm said...

Great post Diane.

I was with my extended family and I struggle with my feelings of great affection for them, I truly love them.

But the gulf of social, political and even spiritual choices among us (and yes we are all Catholics) is always a challenge.

So I left feeling a mix of things.

I loved reading your post though and it softened my heart.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

It is important to keep family and church relationships going, but it is easy to let pressing, mundane details keep us from doing that. Thanks for the reminder.

dust bunny said...

I just spent the weekend sitting with extended family at several baseball games...it was wonderful!!!

Lindy said...

Thanks.
I needed that.

Barbara said...

great post... and great picture too!

davenu said...

I too am guilty of letting connection slip away for long periods of time. when we do get together with extended family we always have a great time and say things like, "we need to do this more often."

Well, we don't do it more often, and I have come to realize that it is just as much their doing as mine. Perhaps those blue moon occasions are enough to sustain our relationships, and perhaps that's why we enjoy one another's company during those time we do get together.

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