I lay here feeling a myriad of emotions. Today marked me throwing my first (and last) “Annual Family Reunion”. I will still have an event every year, but I think it might need renaming.
I’m sorry, I’m being vague. Today was to be a reunion of my fathers side of the family. My grandfather passed away about 4 1/2 months ago. He was the glue that held my family together. I worried that with his passing, the very frayed family ties I had would snap completely. So I vowed to do something about it.
As often happens, life got complicated beyond measure. One month before today’s event, I finally announced my plans, asking everyone for addresses so I could send out formal invitations. I managed to collect three addresses. Understanding that this is the digital age, I also sent out a mass text and put up a Facebook event.
I was aware that the holiday weekend could interfere with my plans, but I chose this date because I knew people from out of state would be in town. I had several people tell me that they would come, only to call me later and tell me otherwise. I understand that life can throw curvebals, so I made an executive decision.
With attendance looking to be so low, I extended my invitation to my other family as well as my friends. I already paid for everything and didn’t want it all to go to waste, so it seemed to be the perfect idea.
The adults in attendance today numbered around 10 and there were about 20 our so under the age of 18. 30 people isn’t horrible I suppose, but when you consider that I invited 125+ people, it’s pretty sad. I prepared for 50-75 people, which means we well be eating leftovers for the next month. Yay.
I’m sad. I’m disappointed. I understand that there are things I could have done differently. I really wanted this to be a success though. I wanted to have my family come together and laugh, joke, chat, and spend quality time together. I wanted to reach out to the family that’s been fractured for so long. I’m not angry they weren’t there. I guess I’m just bummed that my expectations weren’t met.
So I’m adjusting my expectations for next time. I’m not labeling it a family reunion. I’m inviting whoever I please. I’m doing it when it’s convenient for me. I’m going to be happywith the day, whatever the results are.
During the “reunion” today, I didn’t think too much about this. I enjoyed my time there and the company of those who were able to make it. It was a beautiful day and the afternoon couldn’t have been better.
I did mention to another person that I wished more people would have come because I made so much food. The response I received was, “All the people who matter are here.” It was putto me in a joking manner, but it does have a little truth to it because, in that moment, those people were the people who mattered most to me. They are the people who put the “Family” in my “Family Reunion”.