Wow -- what a weekend!!! We had a crazy, busy weekend.....and I loved every minute of it. By busy, I don't mean that I ran a marathon -- I would probably have other words for the weekend then. But by busy, I mean we had a lot of things to do and a lot of fun to have.
I often look back on our weekends, and our time in general, and realize that my favorite times in my life is when I am spending time with my family (both my kids and hubby, and also extended family). This weekend was an "extended family" weekend. We spent Saturday helping my brother Duane in his bid to stay as the Municipal Court Judge in Sidney/Shelby County. Parades, candy, and fun! I love to be in parades -- you see so many people!! Of course, there is limited time to talk, but there is time to say hey and perhaps see people you wouldn't have seen otherwise.
Last year, we were in the Oktoberfest parade. I asked my dad if he'd like to ride in the parade with me -- he always loved that parade. "Of course!" he said, without any hesitation. So, we set him up in the convertible with the heat on his feet, and blankets on his legs, and he waved all the way through. He had a blast. Later, he told me that was the first time he'd ever been in a parade. Although that didn't surprise me, it struck me that I've been in lots of parades in my life -- when I was in high school, we went to every area festival and marched in the band. I didn't always love it, but I went. LOL At any rate, he was able to see lots of people that day, and, in hindsight, say goodbye and go out in style. Little did we know at that time that that would not only be his first parade, but his last as well. It's those times that I call my God Moments. As I think back on that day, he was waving goodbye to many people he'd known his whole life. The Oktoberfest parade won't be the same without him.
Sunday, we spent at a family reunion on my mom's side. As we arrived and I looked around, it made me sad to realize that we were there with 3 less people than we had last year this time. Out of 10 siblings, only 3 were present. I made sure to give my aunts a kiss and a hug when I left, for we never know if we will see them again! It was a great reunion -- of course, not everyone was there, but there was (in my opinion) a great turnout, and the weather was so nice that most people hung out most of the afternoon. It was truly a great way to catch up with many folks!
After the reunion, we stopped at my brother John's house for a while, with the rest of my siblings and their families. What a gift that afternoon was!! I remember after Dad died, one of the kids asked if we would stop getting together, because that would make them sad and they would miss their cousins. The answer was no.....we're entirely too close for that to ever happen! Father Craig (our cousin) stopped out and ate dinner with us, and it was nice to spend a little quality time with him.
As we try to reorganize our lives without Mom and Dad around, I find myself often wondering what Mom or Dad would say or do in a certain situation. How would they handle it? I notice often when I'm with my siblings that they do it, too. I've been amazed at how far and wide we have heard from people after the loss of my dad -- they knew him, or worked with him, or met him at a tractor show, but all wanted to share their condolences. We miss him a lot, but it's interesting to hear how others miss him as well.
Are you wondering about the title of this post? I learned it from a priest at a conference I once went to. F.A.M.I.L.Y. = Forget About Me, I Love You!!!!!!