Monday, July 5, 2010

A Family Gathering

Several members of my family got together this past Saturday to remember my Uncle Ron, who passed away in April. He would have been 71 years old that day and many of us could remember other years when there was a big party at my aunt and uncle's cottage to celebrate, including several pig roasts. There may not have been a pig on a spit this time around but the participants were the same, those of us who'd known and loved him all these years - his family, long time neighbours and old friends. I think he would have enjoyed knowing we were all together to raise a glass in his honour one more time.

My aunt and two cousins, together with their spouses and children, had buried his ashes in the morning before we all arrived, under a large granite stone with a wooden marker to match the one marking my grandmother's life beside it, on the crest of a hill overlooking the lake, in just the right spot to catch the beautiful sunsets that so often occur there. His final resting place is just steps away from the new flag pole that replaces the one upon which my uncle and his father before him had hoisted a flag every day they were at the cottage for many years past. The raising of that flag is a tradition I remember from my childhood visits there and I'm pleased to know my cousins' children will enjoy the same memories when they are older.

In two weeks time, this branch of my family will be gathering again for another tradition, our annual summer picnic. The offspring of my grandmother and one of her three sisters join together twice a year, in summer and at Christmas time, to share the fellowship that being part of a family entails. I feel lucky to have such a wonderful group of relatives, I always look forward to seeing them and more so now that we're older as we seem to appreciate each other's company more than when we were younger. I'm also glad to know that those who couldn't make it this past Saturday will probably be at the upcoming picnic, as they and those of our siblings and their kids who live too far away to attend these gatherings on a regular basis were missed.

One of the things I enjoy most about these gatherings is seeing all the little ones and how much they've grown in the past six months. It's amazing to see the changes each time as the years go by, whether it's getting taller or losing teeth or gaining teeth or adding more freckles. We have 12 kids in the local group right now, the youngest being a mere 5 months old and the eldest 7.

Here are a couple of pictures of some of my little second and third cousins, cuties all:

No comments: