WOW- I'm feeling getting to blog after way to long! Between the business of life and getting sick and losing every bit of energy I had for over a week, I'm finally getting back to normal (whatever that is).About a week and a half ago, my Aunt Net put together a Family Reunion for the Denson Family....it has been a long time.I don't remember at what age I began to understand the "family breakdown"- you know- who are in the family by blood vs. who is in the family by marriage. In my Dad's family especially, they were always so close. Majority of my Aunts and Uncles who married into the family called my Granny and PawPaw "Mom and Dad" and treated each other as a true part. So, it was difficult for me to understand who my dad's sisters (6) and brothers (1) were and which were the spouses. They were just family- no separation. Part of the reunion we had, was celebrating my Uncle Norris, who was my Dad's sister, Frankie's (she passed away in 2005) husband. We were celebrating him and the incredible legacy as a man of God and a pillar in our family- although he did marry into the family- you would never know. I love that. I love that we are just family- a great family.
See, growing up we used to have these HUGE family reunions with a few hundred people (and yes, I was related somehow to most of them) almost every year. It was a day full of food. fun, and being oohed and awed over by people who knew me and I didn't have a clue who they were. But, I have many memories from those reunions of playing all day with my many many cousins and leaving exhausted!
It's been many years since we've had a HUGE reunion. My Grandparents passed away many years ago, but my Dad's family has remained close although struggling to stay connected while living all over the place and taking care of their individual families. After my Aunt Frankie passed away and a few years later my cousin Mal also did- my Aunt Net took it upon herself to get us all back together for a weekend. This is no easy task with 8 brothers and sisters, and countless children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and even great-great grandchildren.
Not all of the family were able to make it, but a good number of us were- and it was a much needed time. It was especially wonderful to get to see and talk to my Aunt Net and Uncle Bull. Since they had 2 boys, somehow there was always a connection between us and I kind of became their baby girl. Spent many weekends being spoiled rotten by them at their house. They've always had a special place in my heart and I in theirs. It had been way to long since I had seen or talked with them, and my Uncle Bull hadn't been in the best of health as of late. I loved that I was able to look in his eyes and tell him I loved him and see that he was okay, while my Aunt Net ran around coordinating everyone and everything.
I loved introducing my girls to all of their MANY family members! Tenly, especially, was amazed at how big our family was. Lupe met many that he had never met, and it was special to reconnect relationships that had been unintentionally neglected. The Denson Family are almost all incredible singers and musicians. Growing up they even had a Singing Group called "The Happy Christians"- it's okay- I know you are laughing at that name. We would travel around to churches and functions with them and they would call all of my cousins and I "The Baby Christan's" and make us come up and sing to- UGH! Anyway, during the reunion, so many of the family went up and sang and had all the instruments pulled out. Although, I've always been aware of how incredibly talented my family is- I still sat there listening in amazement at the talent within the Denson Family. Not only my blood relations, but also so many of the people who have married into our family are unbelievably talented musicians and singers. It was great to see everyone marvel at the talent that so many of us hadn't seen in years and some talent that's never been witnessed by others in that room- we watched and marveled at the talent God has blessed us with.
I took away from that weekend an urgency to never let this many years to go by without at least being in contact with my many Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. I want my girls to experience family- and even all of that effort falls on my shoulders- I'll carry it and at least try. It's to important not to have.