WANA: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.
Last week I posted a blog about the death of my cousin Carol Eiland. Today, I want to share, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story. It starts with my maternal grandmother, whom we called Mimi, my mother, and her brother and sister, Uncle George and Auntie Mac.
Auntie Mac, Mother, Mimi, Uncle George
Mother had four of us, and Uncle George and Auntie Mac each had three. The three of them apparently made a pact before most of us were born that they would do whatever it took to give all of us a love for and relationship with our cousins. All three families would get together for Christmas and Easter each year, and every summer they would ship us kids back and forth between Fort Worth, where we lived, and Lamesa, where my uncle and aunt lived.
It worked. We all grew up with strong bonds among us and great love for one another. Geography has scattered some of us cousins and our kids and grandkids, so some of us don’t get together often, but the bonds of love are still there.
When Carol, my Uncle George’s daughter-in-law (okay, ex – but we’re not into ex much) died it was a terrible thing for all of us. She was so young and healthy we were all in shock. Her kids were devastated, and the rest of us felt pain, too.
Enter God. In case anyone isn’t aware, He’s very much into bringing good out of bad. This was no exception.
We first cousins had all talked from time to time about the fact that our kids and grandkids didn’t have the sort of family ties we had. None of the big holiday gatherings like we enjoyed. A lot of our grandkids don’t even know one another, and our kids aren’t close like we were.
It became obvious as we gathered for the visitation and the funeral and such that our kids and grandkids recognized this and missed the relationships. Several of us lamented it and said that we should start getting together now and then without having a funeral to go to.
Then my dear cousin June put some feet to the wish. She, with the cooperation of her sister, who lives near her, invited 60 or 70 of us to descend on her house for a family reunion next Thanksgiving. As she mentioned it to different people gathered there, she received a 100% positive response. I’m sure there will be a few who can’t be there for one reason or another, but most will. This will be the first time in my memory that this bunch, which stretches all the way across Texas and over to Georgia, has gathered in one place without a funeral drawing us there.
We’ll all enjoy the visiting, and several—maybe many—of these people need and should receive real ministry from this gathering. Without Carol’s death, this would not have come about. God has indeed taken something bad and made something very good out of it. This is very much a part of how He works.
David N. Walker is a Christian father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years as a health insurance agent. Most of that career was spent in Texas, but for a few years he traveled many other states. He started writing about 20 years ago, and has six unpublished novels to use as primers on how NOT to write fiction. Since his retirement from insurance a few years ago, he has devoted his time to helping Kristen Lamb start Warrior Writers’ Boot Camp and trying to learn to write a successful novel himself.