I just got an e-mail from one of my cousins with photos of a family reunion that was held last week. Because of all the other stuff we have going on these days we weren't able to make the trip to go to it this year, so I really enjoyed getting to see the photos.
My mom has six brothers and sisters and I have over 40 cousins on that side of the family. Growing up almost all of my moms brothers and sisters lived within a few hours from each other, so we got together a lot for reunions, holidays and other fun events. Some of the very best memories I have of my life are of those family events. I absolutely adore my aunts and uncles and having 40 cousins running around to play with was a ball. I remember being young and eating ice cream cones on my grandparents front lawn with all the cousins. They had a tire swing in their big tree that we loved to play on. Those were the best days of my childhood.
So because I'm ridiculously over-emotional lately I was looking at the family reunion photos today and they made me a little (OK, a LOT) teary! First of all, because it made me sad that I missed the reunion and second of all because looking at those photos just reminded me how much I love all those people. Seeing photos of all my aunts and uncles and cousins brings me back to being a kid and how much I loved spending time with my extended family.
My grandparents are getting older now (my grandpa turned 91 this year!) and all the cousins have grown up, gotten married and moved away from home, so it's harder to get everyone together for family events these days. But when we do it's kind of fun to go and see all of our kids play together. A new generation of family. My grandparents have over 50 great grandkids now and our family continues to grow. At the last family party we counted and we realized that between my grandparents children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, there are now over 100 people our family! That's quite a big party if we all get together!
So anyway, I guess this post doesn't have much of a point except for me to say how much I love and appreciate all of my extended family. Seeing photos of them today made me smile and reminded me how much I love all 100 of those people. I'm grateful to have such fantastic grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Thinking about them makes me smile. I regret that we didn't go to the reunion this year and I'm making it a goal to go next year. I don't want to miss out on another chance to see all the people I love.