Family Through and Through

It was a cold and rainy day in the Poconos, one I am thankful I didn’t miss. Russ and I woke up at his father’s house and drove up to the Mountains to join my family for the memorial service for my Aunt Susan. My mother and her sisters are very close, perhaps too close because they spend time together without any of their spouses or children. So this was a rare gathering of my first cousins on my mother’s side.

Before Russ and I got to the beautiful Buck Hills Falls, where my Uncle Hank lives and we all were staying, we made a little detour to find Russ’ family childhood summer home at Lake Naomi. It took no time to find the little cabin in the woods, which Russ says looks exactly the same, except for the color. The most amazing thing to Russ was that it still had the shutters his father made over 45 years ago. To say he does quality work is not going far enough.

We hooked up with my parents and sisters who had arrived last night. Then my Aunt Edie and two of her sons Wright and Winston and Winston’s girl friend Emily joined us to follow Hank to their little church. Five cars driving the winding roads of the Poconos in the rain trying to follow each other did not result in us all arriving together or on time. Thank goodness they don’t start funerals without the family.

There were more friends there than my Uncle had anticipated and the minister blamed him for the the lack of enough bulletins. It was definitely not a southern funeral. In the south the clergy never blame the widower for anything, especially not for guessing how many people are going to show up to remember their wife. I am not sure any of us know how many souls our spouse may have impacted. Of course since the church did not print enough bulletins they also did not have enough wafers for communion. Just a little hiccup in the day.

After the service I finally got a chance to hug Susan’s boys, Jimmy and Steven. With the exception of my cousin Billy it was the first time since my grandmother’s funeral almost 20 years ago that we had all been together.

We had the polite time with the other non-family mourners in the parish hall but the real fun happened at a dinner my Uncle and Cousin Jim gave for just the family and two of Jim’s childhood friends. Many of us got up to speak about what a kind a special person Susan was. My sister Janet worried out loud that no one was going to talk this way about her. Not something she needs to worry about. But it reminded me we need to tell each other how we feel about each other while we are still around and able to remember.

I am so happy Russ and I made this trip, despite the seven extra hours at the airport. I loved seeing my Aunt, Uncle and Cousins as well as my immediate family. I just can’t believe that Susan was not there, although I am sure she was.

We never took a photo of us all together and for that I am sorry. I hope we have a happier reason to get together again soon.

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