Every Fourth Of July, for the past nine years, we have hosted a family reunion at our house. My husband's whole family makes the trip from all across the country to attend and to contribute. This year, both of my children were here. It will probably will be the last time they are together under our roof for a few years. My daughter is moving out of state and my son is going back to Colorado with his lovely girlfriend. We will miss them so much I'm having a hard time to write this through tears just thinking about it. Everyone of these people goes to great expense and aggravation to make this whole event happen. They have to travel long distances and spend a boat load of money. Two of them flew in. As a surprise, my son and his girlfriend drove 48 hours from Aspen to get here. They bring enough food and wine and gifts to overwhelm an empire of kings. We have a traditional lobster bake with corn on the cob, salads, strawberry pie and make-your-own ice cream sundaes. My son ate 7 whole lobsters in one sitting. After all, he may not get back here from Colorado for a while. He had to make it count!
The love these people show me and each other through these efforts awes me. My own family would never have come together like this as a group. None of us has even spoken to each other in nearly two decades, never mind shared a meal. Furthermore, I came from what on a good day would have been called an nonreligious family; most days, it would have been called frankly irreligious. So, I don't know much about blessings. But this borrowed family that I've acquired through my husband, and the extraordinary love of my children, has taught me all I need to know. Each of them is a blessing.