This year, anticipation competed with dread since our family is adjusting to a new normal and each day is anything but normal. Iris has been such a huge part of the annual tradition, and we just didn't know if she'd be up to it. Further complicated by her three day stay in the hospital last week, we were much like a teeter-totter. Take her, don't. Take her? Don't?
In the meantime, some of our favorite people and annual traditions rolled in and moved on. Family started arriving Thursday from California and New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Arkansas.
And the traditions begain- dinner at K&W, and the Roanoker. Shopping till you drop and oh, everybody to our house for dinner on Saturday night.
We ate, and talked, and danced (well, Isaiah did) and sang to the familiar guitar music.
|Wanda and Brenda chatting away|
|Cash, Steve & Isaiah- technology testing|
|Betty- one of our fave photographers|
|Jill and Elijah|
|Steve, Frankie, Shirley, Wanda, Brenda, John & Kitty|
|John, Kitty, Steve (with guitar) Isaiah & Brenda|
|Frankie & Shirley|
|Frankie, Phyllis, Shirley, Betty & Ona |
singing, not yawning
We kept on singing the hymns - "precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn" and "God you Reign" and a funny song Steve sang -- Too Old (Rex, that is).
By now, the decision was made and we knew that Rex & I would be picking his momma up Sunday morning to take her with us to the reunion. What we didn't know was how it would go. Would she know where she was or who these people were. Will it be as difficult to take her back to Emeritus at the end of the day, as it was when she left the hospital?
What do you do when you don't know? Pray! So we did, and we called it a night.
And 6/24/12 we charged into the day full speed ahead, and walked right into a beautiful gift. One more reunion with Iris.
Fincastle, here we come!
When Steve offered thanks for the food, he prayed - "may our time together be well spent"
|Elijah loves his Grandma|
|Ona & Iris|
|Iris & Shayne (and Uncle Wayne)|
|A boy and his "two mommas" Iris, Rex & Tret|
|The girls- Missy, Ona, Jill, Betty, me, Iris & Kitty|
|Shayne & Rex|
|Dawn, Steve, Cathy, Cash, Kitty, Anne Marie, Andrew & John|
|Me and my sunshine, Shayne|
It was okay that she was a little confused. It was okay that it felt like Groundhog day. It was okay that it took some extra effort. And yes, it was okay that she wore her new favorite shoes.
I tend to take traditions and the people I love for granted assuming that another day is coming and it will be the same as the day before. I expect the people I love to always be there. I expect that we'll keep singing, and playing and eating macaroni and cheese and yeast rolls for decades to come. But the reality is that none of us know what tomorrow will bring.
Do we have minutes, days, or years together?
Since we don't know were working to make sure that our time together is well spent. And for this reunion, it was.
You call it chaos, we call it FAMILY.