Another year has come and gone all too quickly, culminating in a grand family reunion. I suppose becoming older has its newness of anticipation. Looking forward to the remnants of what used to be and what we continually miss, realizing if we are lucky that life does not have to change after loss. Being blessed with a large family of brothers and sisters had its harsh times. Times like growing up poor on that old country farm, with a long dirt road that led us back to one another in later years, finding comfort in stories, images and touches that are only known to one another and knowing feelings that are only felt and understood by those I see. I am reminded today of moments that linger from my yesteryear’s. I see the familiar smiles among my siblings. I see new signs appearing of years gone by around their eyes, cheeks and the corners of their mouths, revealing characteristics of my mom and dad. With this, enabling them to be with us still. I hear the ever-familiar sounds of their voices that does not change. I see familiar reminders in the next generation who have acquired subtle, distinguishing changes from us, yet retain the closeness felt by a unified structure of supported systems that does not struggle for the altruistic culture we have been born in to. It is at this time that those hard times remembered make life so much easier today by gathering with those who know the presence of realness that kept us reality based as children. There has been a hardy weekend of togetherness, courted with those obnoxious sounds and jokes of brothers and sisters that I thought had been lost somewhere between then and now, easily found and remembered. On the last day of the reunion we all gather for breakfast. I look around and see a royal legacy left behind by those before us. The day progresses and it is time for our reunion auction, a much-looked forward time for all. All that is brought is sold. There is nothing taken back or left over. Everyone attending either makes or finds something worthy of putting into the auction for sale to help with expenses for next year. My prize to find this year will be a treasure for me for the rest of my life. My youngest sister has had the skeleton of my mother’s Singer sewing machine for years. Her husband took the old dirt road up to the farm house, yes, the one you see above and extracted several old ship-lap boards from between the rooms. My sister left the bones of the old sewing machine as it was, and my brother-n-law took the old, dry boards and cut them into what would be a table top. The varnish used brought the boards back to life, and as I see this table sitting in the corner of my living room I can hear it’s whispers of those days that were not lost, just hidden, echoing childhood once again and giving up its history, knowing each of us has touched the past. To some this old table will mean nothing, but for me, it encapsulates a time that was distant, removed from me only because time allows forgetting. As I glide my hand across the glossy surface, visions appear of many of those who entered my life when they entered our home. Memories of fleeting faces that have turned from decades ago to eras of my own life.
Copyright @coffeewithcharles.blog (Charles D. Grant)