Free Blog Templates at Small Bird Studio

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 26: A picture of something that means a lot to you


My Grandpa Don, 'Uncle' Ray and 'Uncle' Chuck were all drafted into the army together during World War II. I can't imagine being drafted into anything, let alone the military during wartime. They were stationed together during the remainder of their time enlisted.

Me and Uncle Ray :)
Now that in itself is not much of a story, but what comes after is:
You know that song from The Hangover "we're the three best friends that anyone could have?" That's kind of what plays over and over again in my head when I think about my Grandpa Don, Ray and Chuck. Those three guys are the reason that my 'family' is approximately triple the size of most.
While my Grandpa & Grandma lived in Kansas, Ray & Harriet and Chuck & Marge both lived in different towns in Michigan. The summer after they all got out of the military my Grandma & Grandpa took a drive up to Michigan to visit over a 3 day weekend. Every other summer from that year on they took turns traveling between Michigan and Kansas with all of their kids.
As my mom and uncles and the rest of the original kids got older the family vacations ceased, but my Grandma & Grandpa, Ray & Harriet, and Chuck & Marge still found time to get together every year.

On a ferry to Mackinaw Island!
In 1995 my Grandpa Don passed away. He was the first person that we lost from my Michigan family. Even though I was only 4 years old I remember everyone coming to Kansas for his funeral. In those moments my grandpa's generation and my mom's generation along with my generation decided to bring back the family vacations every other summer to visit each other.
So in the summer of 1996 I took my first trip to Michigan.

Every other summer from that summer on I got to see my Michigan family. This past summer, 2010, was the first summer that I didn't get to go on the family vacation to Colorado. I've never felt like I was missing out on so much in my life. If you know anything about me than you know I HATE missing out on things. I was with them in spirit however.
Although there may be people missing from the Michigan family that were originally there, those people are never forgotten. I miss my Grandpa Don all the time and wish so badly that I would've had more time with him. And I cherish all of the time I got to spend with with my 'Uncle' Chuck before he passed away a few years ago.

I am SO thankful for these people, people that without the grace of God I never would've met. I can't imagine my childhood summers without Michigan, Cat Lake, Swimming, Running over a chipmunk on the toboggan slide in Colorado, Yogi Bear, Learning to Water Ski, Driving a Duck in the Wisconsin Dells, Learning to play Bocce Ball, Struggling to learn Euchre, Sitting around campfires and spending time with my 'Family'.
We take a picture every year that we get together, a large group picture and occasionally someone brings along a friend who is deemed the temporary photographer. The last reunion in Kansas someone asked why this friend should take the picture instead of being in it. My instant reaction without thinking about it was "because she's not family".

Being a part of this family, that started with 3 guys being drafted in the army, has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. I thank God that He brought us together and I pray that He never lets us part.


Post a Comment

Copyright ©2011 Small Bird Studio| All Rights Reserved |Free Blog Templates at Small Bird Studio