My father is now retired from the military, but as an expat family, we often traveled and lived in different places. That means there were very few chances to see all of my family members together. My grandparents in Pennsylvania gave their all to hold a special family reunion every summer for this exact reason. Their house is very spacious, and the yard is big enough to have a barbeque in and let all of the younger kids run around and play games. We would always arrive early in order to help with preparations and run any errands my grandma needed done. Prep time usually took up the whole day, and we were often still icing a cake or boiling corn on the cob while greeting our family members.
This reunion is one of my fondest childhood memories. However, roughly 5 years ago these events stopped happening. My grandparents, along with many of their siblings, became too old to travel far distances. I am grateful to have such precious memories with my loved ones. I wish they still continued today. I do not have many opportunities to see my cousins or uncles who live in different parts of America. So, I hope someone else will take on the responsibility of hosting these reunions again soon. If they did, I would make it a top priority to attend yearly. I think that making time for family is not always easy, but it is definitely important. If I could create my own version of our family gatherings, I think it would be something like this.
I would still like for the get-together to be held at my grandparents’ home, because it is a nostalgic place for all of us. Although, I think I would change the time of year to autumn. Summer is always too hot, and many people also have a short break from work and school in the fall as well as in the summer. So, it shouldn’t be a problem. Also, instead of traditional beef hamburgers, I would add the option of tofu or veggie burgers. I don’t particularly like meat, and I know some other people would be grateful for the choice as well. In the past, we never had any sort of organized activities either. Perhaps we could try planning a race for the younger kids and a raffle or trivia game for adults. It might be an interesting way to learn about each other and commemorate the occasion. Even though it is impossible, I wish my little cousins would also stay babies forever. It is definitely a lot more fun playing with a tiny 3 year old than with a sassy teenager.
While there are some points I would like to change, there are plenty more that I would not. For example, my grandma’s incredible coconut cake and the sleepover my cousins and I always had afterwards. It is more difficult to think of things I did not enjoy at these reunions, because my memories are so dear to me. They definitely were not perfect, but they were special and unique. Truthfully, what makes a family reunion perfect is just being able to see the people you love. That’s the only essential ingredient.
expat (noun) ? a person living outside of their home country
give ones all (idiom) ? try one’s best
fond of ~ (adjective) ? to like something
take on the responsibility of ~ (idiom) ? agree to do something
get-together (noun) ? casual party or gathering of family and friends
commemorate (verb) ? to mark an event; to celebrate