In our family, family reunions used to happen every Saturday, without planning. It wasn’t a once a year event that took phone calls and planning. We all showed up at Kathy’s or Joyce’s and just hung out all day long enjoying each other’s company. It’s the way we grew up and it’s the way I always thought it would be. In 2001, when we lost grandpa we started to lose those regular Saturday get togethers. They seemed to slip away slowly without anyone noticing or trying real hard to keep them going. We decided, as a family, that we needed to designate one weekend a year that belonged to nobody else but “us” not friends - just us. Tomorrow marks the first day of the Eighth Annual Ribordy Family Reunion. I can’t believe grandpa’s been gone that long and I can’t believe that what used to be a weekly event has now become a yearly event that’s difficult, at best, to pull off. I yearn for the time I spend with my family – they are who I am. They are the people who know me best – they are a reflection of me and I, a reflection of them.
We’ll all gather this weekend and we’ll soak up the love, the laughter, the friendships “Our Family." When the weekend comes to an end, we’ll believe, of course, that we’ll do it again next year. But we can’t say with certainty that this tradition will continue each year. We can’t know for sure that we’ll all be here next year. There was never a time when I gave thought to Saturdays not being spent surrounded by family. It was just us being “us.” But slowly those Saturdays slipped away. Our family has grown tremendously and there is always a good excuse to be somewhere else.
I pray that the time spent between the end of this “Family Reunion” and the next will be filled with a lot more Saturday get togethers; that we will treasure the moments when we are lucky enough to share each other’s company and we realize how blessed we are to have each other.