My memories of our family’s reunions are numerous and vivid. The Bloodworth family has been participating in reunions for as long as I can remember. Many moons ago periodically we gathered from the far ends of the US to the Illinois/Missouri region to visit with relatives we seldom saw and meet new ones. I must admit those early reunions are only memorable because of the discomfort that accompanied them. It was ALWAYS hot, outdoors, and chock full of folks I did not know too well. But, being one of Harvey and Mabel Bloodworth’s grand kids meant being a part of a something larger than myself and although I was too young to know it then, these reunions would come to mean the world to me and my family.
Like the snapshots that preserve them, I can see past reunions in clear snippets of time; Old-fashioned folding lawn chairs, cans of Shasta soda, homemade ice cream, great food, hot days, late nights, lots of talking and laughing, stories being told and history being shared.
This last 4th of July weekend we gathered once again…
These precious reunions are striking reminders of how special family is to us all. Over the years, I witnessed this family’s care for each other in all things. I have experienced their care for me.
When my father was sent overseas, my Uncle John and Aunt Wilma watched over us and came along side my mother as she parented us in his absence. They filled my life with wonderful memories of camping, cool spring water from a tin cup, backyard Easter egg hunts and crab apple trees.
I remember my Uncle Otto and Aunt Willidene helping to take care of us. I remember peanut butter and honey toast, footy pajamas, rose scented soaps and a rocking chair.
Uncle Luther and Aunt Jenna always had room for us in their tiny house when we came to town. We’d pack their basement like a circus clown car, but we’d always fit and felt welcomed.
Aunt Mig never minded when we raided her fridge for olives, or used her phone to call boys.
When Uncle Jack would visit my husband and I in the early days of our marriage, he was always an encouraging and supportive mentor for my husband and his fledgling career.
Family makes us feel loved and treasured.
This family has seen its share of heartache and hardship. Health issues, financial crisis, difficult relationships, diversity, distances and the passing of loved ones have all been a part of our family’s journey. Through it all I have witnessed our family walk in faith and grace. We have greived together and celebrated life together. We may not all be like minded, but thanks to the legacy of Harvey and Mabel Bloodworth, we are like hearted.
My cousin Don said it best when he shared a devotional at this year’s reunion. He reminded us all of the great FORTUNE we have in our family, one I hope my children have inherited and will one day pass on to their children….