June 20, 2015…
It’s been an emotional day of spending time with my husband’s family, and also thinking of my own family.
4000 km away, in Barrie ON, my brother celebrated his 60th birthday.
I’ve told the story before of how I was the firstborn, and born on Mother’s Day. Jim, the first son, was born two years later, on Father’s Day!
So perhaps there’s more than one reason why I’m named for our mother, and Jim is named for our father!
Jim was a merciless tease when we were growing up, and our different interests and personalities led us in quite different directions with different friends. I’m so thankful for Facebook, because I think we know each other better now than we ever did when we were growing up.
Here in Alberta, we remembered Aunt June Flewelling, who passed away on June 4. Today would have been her 98th birthday. Instead of celebrating her birthday, we celebrated a life well lived.
Aunt June was married to Dad Flewelling’s brother. I first met her at a family reunion in Cold Lake AB, in the summer of 1987. Aunt June was a tall lady with a huge heart and a big, welcoming voice. I was immediately drawn to her. I never got to see her many times, but she made an impact on me that lasted through the years.
It was a pleasure to meet family members today that we haven’t seen since either December 2009 (at the funeral of our son James) or June 2007, at Aunt June’s 90th birthday. At that time we also met her sister Alice, who was 99 years old!
It’s a good thing my husband, Ian, doesn’t have a really big family (like mine on my mom’s side), because it was hilarious at times, helping our sons to know who was who, and how many cousins how many times removed each one was! Consider this: our Nathaniel, age 15, has a first cousin once removed, who is 79! And the three who are his age are second cousins once removed in the next generation down from him.
I don’t think there will be another time that this particular family group will be all together at the same time. I’m so glad I let Nathaniel loose with my iPad, and he took scores of pictures. He didn’t care that he didn’t know who they all were — he took the pictures and we can sort out who’s who later. And that, in itself, is a great blessing.
© Willena Flewelling