Monday, July 13, 2015

This Is Why You Write Family Stories

The photo above is our family. Ken has a significant birthday--number 80-- in September so I wanted to get the family together for a celebration. This past weekend was the only time it worked for all of us.

To Ken's right is our daughter with her husband and children in back. On my left is our son and his family is behind him. They live in the Dallas area and our daughter's family lives in Louisburg, a small town near the Kansas suburban side of Kansas City. Getting us all together is a feat!

Ken had no idea they were coming and, believe me, it was no easy task to get ready for 8 house guests and a party without letting him know about it. He said later that he hadn't had a clue. The two families arranged to meet for lunch when they got to town so they'd all arrive at our house at the same time. Wish I'd gotten a picture of Ken's face when they walked in.

They'd texted me that they were finishing lunch and ready to come over. At that point, Ken got his billfold and car keys. I asked where he was going. "Over to see Doc," he said. His friend had recently moved to an Assisted Living home. Thinking fast, I said, "Oh, I bet he'll be taking a nap so soon after lunch. Why don't you wait?" "No," said Ken, "last time I went at 3 and he was asleep. I'm going now." So, off he went and I texted the kids to hold up for awhile. Ken returned an hour later and I then let them know he was home. That's when they finally all got to walk in and surprise him.

We went out for dinner Friday evening and had a lot of laughs. Then birthday cake back here after we ate. Saturday, I had a tee time set for the 4 guys to play golf. The girls planned lunch and shopping. But as we all know, the best laid plans oft go awry. The sewer line backed up in our lower level just before the golfers were leaving. I won't go into the nasty details but we could not use any water or flush until a plumber came to unblock the line.

Sent the golfers on their way. There was nothing they could do here. I called 3 plumbers before I had any success in getting one to come out. He made it at 2 p.m. Meanwhile, I sent the girls on to do the things we'd planned despite no one being able to shower. We all brushed our teeth outside like campers!

By 4, the plumber had found the blockage and we were back in business. I kept thinking all day Why this? Why now? We booked hotel rooms for the family as the lower level where 6 of them were staying was all wet. They headed to the hotel to shower and change clothes while we waited for a carpet restorer to come over to look at the damage. He checked it out and promised to come back Sunday afternoon to start working on it.

We met the family at a favorite place to eat Saturday evenng and asked the waitress to take a picture of us. Rare is the day when we get that done. Seems there is always one missing! We came home for more birthday cake.

This is what family stories are made of. Saturday evening at dinner, I commented that I knew that someday I'd look back at the disaster and laugh. I'm sure this weekend's events will be talked about at holiday dinners for a long time to come. It's the people in the photo above that I write my family stories for. When I am no longer a presence in their life, the stories will have been written and saved to be passed down to my children and grandchildren and maybe future generations.

If you haven't started writing your family stories, make it a project to begin soon. Start with one story and keep adding more, one at a time. You'll never regret it and neither will your family.

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