Sunday, September 28, 2008

Journal of a Living Lady#331
Nancy White Kelly

Some families have reunions the old-fashioned way. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins come together at a particular place at a certain date and time. My family did this a few years ago when an organization called Making Memories granted a personal wish of having the extended White family come together before my funeral instead of after it.

This was when my cancer prognosis was grim and most everyone thought I was in my last few weeks. That reunion, held at Brasstown Bald, was wonderful. I saw relatives I had not seen in years and may never see again…at least not in this world. Two attendees, a young sister-in-law and an aunt have since both died with cancer. At the time of my family reunion, neither of them even knew they had the disease.

Buddy has a cousin who originally had an idea for a family reunion four years ago. Sandra even bought new mattresses and a day-bed in anticipation of a full-blown gathering. Circumstances prevented the reunion. Sandra’s mother and dad became seriously ill. Her mother died. Sandra consequently became care-taker of her very sick father in addition to her husband who was also very ill.

Sandra is not one to give up on an idea. Instead of a big family gathering, she began what we now call a mail reunion. Almost weekly we get photographs and sometimes hilarious stories from childhood adventures.

Sandra’s husband and father passed away recently. The funerals were within weeks of each other. In spite of the sadness, she has continued the reunion. Buddy and I received an up-date from Sandra this past week demonstrating a remarkable sense of humor.

She wrote, “I am not in intensive care. I am not in the psychiatric ward. I am not in jail. Nothing has been repossessed all day. No bounty hunter is looking for me and no one has shot at me for two weeks.” (She lives in rural Alabama where hunters are sometimes careless.)

This cousin concluded with her observation of seasons. “At the present time it is hurricane season and football season. And, as if that were not enough, hunting season is on the way. If we can just make it to the 31st day of January, we will be out of all these pesky seasons.”

Sandra failed to mention the election season with all its grandiose promises. If America can survive until November 4th, we will have elected a new president as well as many other state and national politicians. Then perhaps those seemingly endless mail and television advertisements, as well as unsolicited campaign phone calls, will cease for a season. Perhaps we can get back to normal life.

Oops, I forgot. The holiday season is coming so we best get ready to stuff the turkey, string the Christmas lights and fill another calendar with yet another round of seasons.

Wise King Solomon nailed it right: “To everything there is a season…a time to live and a time to die…a time to laugh and a time to cry.”

I am dying to live for another season, but am desirous of adding life to my earthly years, not years to my life.
If Shakespeare were still with us, he would probably write, “Away with this gloom and doom. Away, away I say.”

The Living Lady says, “Let’s hear it for a smiling season.” It is the second best thing to do with your lips.

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