Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Slice of Life Day 24 Memories of a Life Time

Family Photos with names, a gift from Aunt Rosie to Katyana

This was a weekend I will always remember.

My dad, mom and two daughter piled into the car and headed to West Virginia. (Sadly, my husband couldn't join this trip.)  We had not seen my dad's family in 40 years! My daughters had never met the Cunninghams in West Viriginia.

We have my lovely cousin Katyana to thank for this reunion. It was her dedication and drive that brought this BIG happy family back into one house, on the same day at the same time, all sharing the same air.

As my daughters and I shared the stories of our trip with my husband I asked them what they will remember most about this trip~

Olivia~ papaw's determination

Lexi~ the mountains and meeting my family

Me~ the stories

As I sat and listened to the stories I tried to imagine all these grown adults as grubbing little kids running around this small coal mining town from breakfast till dark.  I wondered how it felt growing up in the mountains and being one of seven children.  Then my thoughts went to Grandma, how could she managed all seven children and the daily chores?  So many stories were shared each unique and heart felt. Although, I am still wondering about a few tales from good old Uncle Larry, they may have been given new life and drama as the years have passed… I'm just wondering!

We celebrated our reunion, we celebrated Katyana finding her place in this big family and reconnecting us all and we celebrated grandma's indoor bathroom! (On our last trip we bathed in a tub in the kitchen and visited the privy out back for the bathroom.  I still remember Aunt Sandy grabbing the stick and the flashlight to take me to potty!)

This trip meant more to me than I can express tonight, I don't know why, but the words are coming hard tonight. The memories are still flying through my mind, settling into my heart and etching themselves into my memory. I hope as all these thoughts settle more I will find the words to truly express my thoughts and thank all those who made these memories possible.


  1. I think you found your words quite well. I kept thinking of The Relatives Came. It sounds like you have many moments to continue to share and write from this trip. Thank you for sharing and keep writing them --your voice and heart of your story came shining through.

  2. Clare,
    Thank you for your encouraging words, this post was surprisingly difficult to write. I want to work through my feelings about the differences between my life as I live it and the life as my family lives it, I want to show respect and admiration to it all. This is so messy, still needs sorting out….perhaps sometime in my notebook is necessary.
    Your comments pushes me to continue exploring and finding my words.

  3. I so enjoyed reading about this family weekend. Time with family is so precious. I love the stories that are shared when everyone is together and the stories that we carry with us from that time together years later.