This afternoon I went to a family reunion. It was an interesting event - unscheduled and unplanned, I wasn't even expecting to be there. I got to talk with my dad and we were talking about some email we had exchanged. Mom was there but didn't say much, just kind of quiet and smiling. Uncle Ron, mom's brother, was there laughing his huge laugh that I remember so well and holding hands with Aunt Geneil (dad's sister) who was laughing with him.
My sister Sam was around, but again, most of what I remember is her laughter. It's such a good thing that most of my family memories are full of laughter. She chuckled as she walked past, scratching my dog under the chin and teasing me for holding him so close and tight. I was watching my daughter's children as she was playing with them over by the window. Doug and Emma were in some kind of battle which isn't new. DJ was building something.
I can remember the smells of the food - our family events always had laughter and food. I remember wondering where Jeff was because I could hear him somewhere. I always wanted to have Jeff as a brother as I didn't always get along with my two sisters. Jeff and I didn't always get along either, but it we always had fun together.
Javert, my dog, put his head on my shoulder and I remember hearing some kind of beeping or horn and thinking that it sounded odd, like it didn't belong. Then the electronic sound of something like coins dropping into a glass, maybe ice cubes? Then I recognized it as Kerry playing some game on her computer and slowly realization started to slip in.
As wonderful as my reunion was, I began to realize that it was just a dream. Dad died in '89, mom last year. Sam several years ago and Geneil back in the early '80s. I'm not sure what it means that I had both family that has passed away already and family still living with me.
I don't read much into dreams, although I love to have them. I usually dream very vividly, very graphically. I tend to smell scents and odors and can feel and touch in my dreams. And as I rose from the bliss of sleep and dreams, the smells of the food waning and the sounds fading, the laughter slowly growing quiet, I was left with the feeling of peace and warmth as the last of the dream left to me.
I miss them all, each of them. I am thankful for the memories that I have and remorseful of those that I missed. I wish I had been able to spend more time with the family although it seems like this family has a hard time getting together. Everybody wants to, but these plans never seem to come to fruition. I'm as bad as any other.
I am thankful for the opportunity that I have had the past couple of years to re-unite with some of my extended family, and friends as well, and have been blessed with renewing these relations. I can only hope that I provide something in kind back to each of them.