Family reunions are a social experiment. You get a lot of people together who have different interests, hobbies, careers, personal abilities, and even political thought. Bind them together with family ties and you just seem to get along with one another....
Differences are put aside during the reunion and memories create goodwill and sometimes raw emotions.
My dad was unable to attend his families reunion this year. So instead he sent a DVD with a slideshow that included pictures he had and pictures he took from the time he was young till just a few years ago. My dad was/is a picture bug. Not so much a photographer as he is a picture bug. And I mean that without any ire or laughter. He has his camera with him all the time and takes pictures. He is good at capturing moments and memories. It was his picture taking zeal that helped me gain an interest in photography.
Well, at this family reunion, which I attended, this DVD was playing while other activities were taking shape. As I came into the room where it was being played, I found myself hooked on the memories that stood before me. I was very interested in pictures of life before I was born. I saw pictures of people who I knew, but not in the way I have known them much of my life. I was intrigued and started asking a question here and there about this person or that person. Many of them about my own father. I learned a lot more about Dad after seeing pictures of him and talking with his sisters and brothers. I wished I had that information 20 years ago. It would have been good to be able to say back then, 'you did it, Dad, why can't I?'
If only I was more interested in family history back then, I really could have used it to my advantage.
Let's hope Dallin and his siblings don't start asking questions. It will save the, I-did-it-but-you-can't speech that would be sure to follow.
Don't go attending family reunions as a must-attend-or-mom-will-be-mad kind of way. Go with the intent of learning something about your heritage, your past.
And then enjoy the differences that abound in the family and the wonderful ability we all have to seek camaraderie and enjoy the similarities.