Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ode to The Morris Girls

Four sisters, four families, four different lives. For as long as I can remember my mom and her three sisters (the Morris girls) have been drawn to each other every summer. From the time that I became conscience of what was going on the yearly reunion has been one to look forward to. My Aunties would come with their families from Montana, Oregon, and we would come from Washington to talk, to act like girls, to forget for a moment their lives and cares and worries and BE SISTERS.
When we went to Oregon we shopped, and talked and toured around and we ate. Not just normal quantities of food, but mass quantities. Our parents got to go out and pretend, for a brief moment, that this was their normal life. A night out with your sister and her husband, bliss. They could pick up where they left off and for them it was a fluid procedure. In moments from our arrival they would be sipping a cold soda and laughing, reminiscing about old times and working through life’s newest curveballs.
When everyone came to Washington it was the same, but felt very different. I would wake up the next morning to find cousins everywhere. Notably my mom would float down the stairs with a big smile on her face. More food, more shopping. As an adult I still marvel at how they pulled off that much food. Three years ago my daughters’ birthdays fell during reunion week at my parents house. I was brought to tears at how my family loved my girls. From the oldest to the youngest cousins they brought gifts and hugs and laughter to their special day. They were surrounded by not only their grandma but three others who hugged and praised and loved them completely.
In Montana it all felt a bit different. That is where it all began. That is where they were young sisters together and where memories are around every bend in the road. My parents traveled that road so many times before I was born I think they could still do it with their eyes closed. We would arrive at my Aunt’s home in a small town in Montana almost doubling the population.
There are two things that have become family reunion staples. The craft and making the Christmas list. My mom, as oldest, has become its sacred keeper. One of the sisters chooses a craft for them all to do together. Except when it’s Auntie Jackie’s turn, it is well established that her craft is back massages. We love it when it’s Jackie’s turn.
I have learned a lot from these reunions. That the drive can be fun, too. That you can grill pancakes (with the right tools of course). Finally, God is good, and the bond that you create in your children when they’re young will be with them forever and will be so strong that they will again pass it on to their children.

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