Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Importance of Family

For months, we've been planning to attend a Ferguson Family Reunion in East Texas. We talked the kids into joining us. Yeah... fun for them, huh? Most youngsters don't enjoy sitting around eating unidentifiable casseroles and listening to old people discuss the past. They don't realize they'll be planning their own family reunions before they know it. Oh, how the years fly . . .

We took off on Friday in little Rhonda the Honda. I think I've mentioned that we bought Rhonda for our daughter back in 2001--a graduation present, but a couple of years ago we gave her our CRV, thinking she needed a newer vehicle so I've been driving Rhonda. And she's been great. She has a lot of get up and go which makes me feel energetic. I like being able to wheel into the tiniest of parking spots. Rhonda's nine years old and has around 65,000 miles on her. Yeah, that tells you how much running around daughter did. Good daughter--good Rhonda/Honda.

Well, back to taking off on Friday. We got as far as Iowa (that's Iowa, LA just about 10 miles down the road) and something didn't feel right. I was driving. I'm very in-tune with my vehicles. I can usually tell when something isn't right. I can even feel it when they've been worked on, tuned up... there's just a feeling. Well, long story short as the cliche goes, Rhonda was sick and Rhonda broke.

Press the gas, nothing.
Put her in reverse and press the gas. Nothing.
She just hung there.

We were towed back to Lake Charles by the cutest wrecker driver I've ever seen. He and hubby had great discussion about family values, stuff they learned from their dads, etc. I listened and took notes. This cutie is definitely lodged in my memory as hero material. I've been wondering what kind of heroine would suit him. :)

So... Steve the wrecker driver towed Rhonda to the Honda place where she stayed the weekend. Hubby and I were transported home to get his truck, back to Rhonda to transfer our belongings, then off to get daughter in Lafayette, and pack everything into CRV. Of course, by this time, we'd worked up an appetite so we ate before leaving Lafayette. Who can pass up Coyote Blues and their great tacos? Got to Longview motel at 11:30 pm Friday night, and up early the next morning to head to Mineola, TX.

Daughter and son got to meet cousins they didn't know they had, and visit with cousins they haven't seen in quite awhile. (You can see by the pic that they're all caught up.)

I know this isn't really writing related but it can be because family stories are important. It's easy to gripe about going to family reunions or class reunions--it does take effort. But I think it's important to tell your kids old family stories, even family gossip, stories from your school days and childhood. It's important to give them a sense of belonging to their family name.

The Fergusons have been known as good and godly people. Of course, among all those good people are a few interesting renegades, as in any family. Our kids have heard Ferguson tales for 27 and 30 years. If they listened, paid attention, they'll be able to pass some of these stories on to their own kids. Some of those stories are even written down.
They've heard stories from my side of the family too but the difference is ... there won't be any more family reunions in my family, ever again. My family bit the dust years ago because of words and actions that can't be taken back. Cousins speak with reservation through emails. Aunts and uncles don't speak at all. They're dying off--unforgiving and unforgiven.
Treasure your family--no matter how large or small. Share your history with your children and grandchildren. Write that history.
No matter how far away that family reunion is, no matter the hassle, do it! Go! Putting flowers on a loved one's grave, saying a prayer that our families stay healthy and loving . . . it's all important. Probably one of the most important things we can do is BE with that part of our family that we never get to see.
Are you in touch with your family? Do you see them often? Is there someone in your family you haven't spoken to in years? Think about making contact before it's too late.
NOTE: Hubby and I looked at new vehicles on Monday. I felt guilty. I think I'm a little too attached to Rhonda. She's family.


Carole said...

Great post. Knowing and loving family takes work but I agree that it is worth it. For the skeletons in the closet if nothing else.

I hope you find a car you love as much as you love Rhonda.

Angie Kay Dilmore said...

I haven't been to a family reunion in ages and I miss my family terribly. Great reminder, Jess, to tell our stories and ask our family members about their stories.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've put 80,000 miles on my car in 4 years. I know what you mean about valuing family, and I do very much. It's sad when families are torn apart by words that can't be taken back. I'm sorry to hear that about your family.

Charles Gramlich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jan Rider Newman said...

Great post.