My Grammy and Papa have been married for sixty years! What amazing people, having both left alcoholic families they made a choice together to live differently, to raise a family and create a home filled with love. Six kids, sixteen grandchildren, (I lost count of how many great grandchildren) later, what a legacy they have bestowed on us. their marriage is one of quiet dedication and strong affection.
To celebrate this occasion there was a family reunion out at the Bed and Breakfast and farm that my uncle owns and my own mother runs. All of my Aunts and Uncles were there, and almost all of my first cousins. It’s a rare thing, that many of us together in one place, and I was a bit trepidatious, as I’m a natural introvert. I didn’t need to worry it was fantastic! I rode out with three other adult lady cousins and I brought three books to read (it’s an eighteen hour roundtrip) I read maybe two chapters! What a gab fest, and of course none of us had our children or husbands with us so I think we were all feeling a bit free and light. The women (of which I’m now a grownup member, weird) went shopping, there was hiking, and sun and almost sixty degree weather, and such good food! Every morning a huge breakfast put on by one of the Aunts or uncles! What bliss it is to wake early, walk in the forest and then feast.
The dinner was catered at the Bed and Breakfast. So there was plenty of room to mingle and plenty of wine and food and a beautiful wedding cake (you’ll notice food is featured prominently at all family gatherings). There was so much laugher and buzzing noise and pretty dresses, it was just totally beautiful. After dinner, the family gathered in the living room and all Grammy and Papa’s kids said something that was a blessing to them from their parents. What lovely heartfelt things were said. How they never fought in front of the kids, how their home was always open, how they taught that love is a choice you make and actions you do, how generous they are..
Then my cousin and uncle played at the piano and sang. We all joined in at Papa’s favorite hymn “How Great Thou Art” which is one of my favorites. To me this was the magic; we don’t all believe the exact same things, we are vastly different in ages and yet we all know this song. My uncle, who I suspect finds God in the forest during hunting season, with the bushy beard was singing this song. My aunts and mom who are best friends with each other, lifted this song up in their beautiful clear voices, the cousins who roam about the world. Because two people loved each other and made a commitment we were all there voices raised in one song. Beautiful souls reaching up together, magic.
Thank you Grammy and Papa, thank you.