Thursday, July 02, 2015

The Circle

In about eight hours, I'll get on the road to Nashville, Arkansas for the semi-annual Chesshir Reunion. Please pray for a safe trip for all of us and a big crowd is expected! This is about the same event four years ago.
I've mentioned spending the weekend at a family reunion in Nashville, Arkansas. The get-together was for the descendants of Jord and Ruth McClure Chesshir- my mom was their daughter. Mom had one older sister (Evelyn Brooks), one younger sister (Jordine- Jerry McNutt), and one younger brother, the incomparable Bill Chesshir. Mom and Aunt Evelyn have passed on but Aunt Jerry and Uncle Bill are still going strong. We assemble on the farm where peaches paid the bills and where my mother was born and raised with her siblings. We eat alot, we laugh alot, we talk alot, and we eat some more. As always, we attended the big Fourth of July celebration that Nashville hosts in conjunction with Independence Day which, as always, had an abundance of watermelon, music, lawn chairs, fireworks, kids and senior citizens, and patriotism. We looked at pictures, we fished in the same pond where my parents fished when they were in college, and we sat together in worship services, taking up a good three pews. These every other July reunions are too brief for me but most of us live far away and life continues at a breakneck pace once we depart from Howard County. They inevitably conclude too soon.

We've never had many reunions with Dad's side of the family, only a couple I remember. We saw that side of the family quite a bit in the sense that we all attended York College but it was rarely just us. To be honest, and I'd have to ask, I'm not sure how many reunions my folks had with their families when they were children. My grandparents on my mom's side lived down the road from each other and most of their numerous siblings stayed in the vicinity. My dad's family also was large- he once told me he had no idea how many first cousins he had but there were eleven sets of aunts and uncles, most of whom also lived in Michigan. My dad loved these reunions of Mom's family. There was a point when we were watching a DVD on Saturday of a Chesshir reunion family talent show from six years ago, based on American Idol. (I was Randy, Dave was Simon, Meagan- who is Dave and Sally's daughter- played Paula.) In the portion I saw, Dad was really hamming it up which means he was playing his natural role. It made me realize how much I miss him and I felt a little lonely even in a crowd of blood kin. In Psalm 68:6, David wrote that, "God sets the lonely in families." At that moment, I knew I was right where I belong. How sad for those who lack what the Lord meant for us to have as a blessing. Even sadder are those whose families are filled with hatred or anger. We aren't perfect but we love each other. When I looked at the smallish farmhouse where my mother, Aunt Evelyn, Aunt Jerry, and Uncle Bill grew up, I can still see myself as a little boy running in that yard with my cousins many summers ago. The happiness is still there even if we don't run much anymore. My grandparents did something right and their descendants are the beneficiaries.

Applicable quote of the day:
“Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted.”

Paul Pearshall

To hear Delaney and Bonnie and Friends sing Will The Circle Be Unbroken?, please copy and paste the link below:

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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1 comment:

Amanda Jarrell Martel said...

As I was reading this, something stuck out to me. The name McClure. My mom's family has some McClure's in it. They live in there any relation, I wonder.