Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sharing Stories

Last weekend featured the annual gathering of the Conrad Family Reunion in Blue Ridge. The serenity of the mountain was shattered by 40-50 (someone was always coming or going) of my aunts and uncles, cousins and their children. As always, the food was good (and plentiful) and activities were abundant.

This year was a bit "off" for me as I hobbled with brace, boot, and walker.- aunts and uncles were running circles around me! I was especially disappointed not to be able to tube the Toccoa River- something I've done annually for close to 40 years!

My limited mobility kept me still more than usual and gave me the chance to hear more stories... and maybe tell a few, as well. I heard about life plans from the children of the cousins I grew-up with- what exciting futures! An earlier generation told stories that included my Dad and I discovered new secrets about my grandmother. Stories about Pop were bittersweet- dementia has quieted a truly great story-teller.

I was reminded that it is stories- the shared life we experience that make us family. We may not all remember them the same way, if at all!, but we were in it- triumphs and tragedies- together. Maybe this is one reason we often call church, family.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Series of Fortunate Events

It's been six weeks now since my fall and Priscilla's surgery. In looking back, I guess I could focus on "a series of unfortunate events" but the reality is quite different.

  • I do wish I had a better story to tell than "I fell while chasing the dog"
  • I am grateful that my injuries were not any more serious, that my recovery is going well, and that Priscilla's recovery has gone smoothly
  • I have been cared for in extraordinary ways by my family
  • I have been blessed by a church family that has more than lived-up to its reputation for love
  • I have been encouraged by staff, deacons, and church leadership who have ministered faithfully
  • I have been able to participate in Vacation Bible School and The Wherry Youth Camp Mission Trip, missing either would have been a major "downer"
I am generally more comfortable with the blessings that come from giving. This experience has helped me understand the blessings that come with receiving.