Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chronicles of Life... Family Affair

The Lawson’s shut it down again!
I had the pleasure of attending my second annual family reunion this past weekend in Jacksonville.
Yeah we started late.
There had been some talk for years of having one, but we all procrastinated on the idea.
The family finally realized how desperately we needed to have a reunion after my great-grandma died in 2006.
I think we brushed off the idea for so long because my family is pretty close knit in one way.
Church service every week was a mini family reunion for me. Pearl – my grandmother – and all her progeny went to the same little white church by the side of the railroad.
We all lived no less than 15 minutes apart from each other.
Everyone, grandchildren and great grandchildren included, have stayed extensively with Pearl.
Before day care, there is Pearl care. Those who are in day care all go to the same one.
And holidays, oh the holidays, are jam packed with people.
Who needed a family reunion? We were thick as thieves with each other.
But that was mainly with those of Robinson (RIP Henry) descent.
Here’s a quick family tree for you.
My grandmother is the oldest of 11 children. She and two other siblings live in Jacksonville. Three are dead. One is MIA and four live in Belle Glade.
The Jacksonville crew is pretty close with each other, but Pearl’s children are a clan all in themselves.
We didn’t really know the Belle Glade crew that well. We only made that painstakingly long and boring trip a few times.
My third time would have been the funeral.
The Glades group is probably a clan to themselves down there.
Something needed to be done to unite us all.
So we made a pilgrimage to Belle Glade in 2007 to celebrate two hearts - Hambrick and Emma - that helped produce the Lawson family.
All the remaining siblings, except for the MIA uncle, and most of their children gather together at the reunions.
Some people are just not going to come, no matter what. But hopefully one day we all can reunite.
I mean, who would want to miss out on all the fun?
We have the kiddie crew, the young and fabulous crowd and the old timers.
The children act like a pack of wild animals. The fab adults play games and socialize and the old folks talk about the good old days.
There was talk of switching the reunion to every other year after this one.
Luckily one of the young and fabulous spoke out against it.
“Our parents and grandparents aren’t getting any younger,” he said. “A lot could happen in a year, and we don’t want the next time we get together to be a funeral.”
So next year we will journey to Atlanta and shut it down too. Yours truly is on the planning committee as the self-appointed activities director (I was the self-appointed consultant this year. I need to work on getting a real title).
A town might stay down, but now when the Lawsons are around.
Don’t you just love a family affair?

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