Well, it was a different sort of weekend, to say the least.
My cousin passed away in December. There was a memorial service at that time, but this family gathering was a committal service for the ashes. Those attending were mostly, perhaps all, by invitation. That brought in the family of the son-in-law, Ray.
When all were gathered at the cemetery for the service, there were a grand total of five cars – each from a different state! So even though the group numbered only 15, I guess you could say it was well-attended.
The service was short, sweet, and simple. Then we gathered at a near-by motel for a fellowship luncheon and a time of sharing. Anyone who desired to share a story had the opportunity. There were poignant stories, as well as those that brought laughter.
Interestingly, the six people of Ray’s family soon felt at home with us, and we with them. I suspect that was because we shared one common blood line – the blood of Jesus Christ.
One of his aunts brought a couple of items for the luncheon. Since most of us traveled quite a distance, the luncheon was not truly potluck, but this aunt lived locally so she chose to contribute. How nice! Her offerings were excellent and much appreciated. I even offered to bring her home with me, where she could have free reign of my kitchen.
I had taken along some small paintings I had collected on mission trips to Ecuador and Nicaragua. These were laid out free for the taking. I was so glad to see Ray’s aunts take a couple. There was also one of my books for Steve, now in his 40s, who was a boy of 12 when I knew him best. This truly was a reuniting of family.
One cousin and I determined we had had no contact of any kind since a similar service for one of his own parents in 2002. There were no long-term promises to keep in touch, just pleasure for this one brief encounter, knowing it would probably require a similar situation for us to see each other again.
Another cousin I had assisted many years ago was there. We had opportunity to reconnect. When she graduated college many years ago, she found herself with a teacher’s education and certificate but nowhere to use them.
At that time, she contacted me in Kentucky and asked if I could help. I supplied contacts in the area where I lived and she spent the next seven years teaching in Kentucky.
But the main thing I saw in this gathering of family and friends was the unity among us because, though not even remotely related in family ties, we all felt the unity in Jesus Christ.
We didn’t compare church homes, denominations or even attendance. But I think all of us appreciated meeting heretofore unknown brothers and sisters in Christ. Talk about a family reunion – just wait until we all get to heaven because we have trusted Jesus as Savior!