|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.