Labor Day has traditionally been the date of a family reunion for my father’s side of the family. There once were 7 siblings, and now there are two. Those two are 83 years old and 86 years old. It’s a family with a colorful history, and lots of lots of family memories.
I was thinking this morning about the people who were there yesterday. As happens in life, most years find us without someone who was there last year, because they have passed away. This year, the one we were missing was the husband of my first cousin, who died this year in April after one of those battles with cancer that you hear about.
Of the original 20 cousins in my generation, there are still 15 of us left, with the eldest over 70 and the youngest just over 50. It’s good to gather with family, and bittersweet as we can’t help but reflect on the ones who are no longer here.
But then again, the 20 of us have managed to give birth to at least 37 children, all of whom are still around and having children of their own. However, the family name ends after this generation. The one male cousin with the family name had no children, and the one female cousin who bears the name has children with other last names.
What will be gone when this family name ends? Nothing tangible exactly. The legacy of home and commercial construction and faithful praying Christians will live on, but the name will fade into the past. And so as Yoda would say, “Glad to have been born into this family am I.”