It has been almost 20 years since we had a family reunion on my Dad’s side of the family. Somehow, in the early months of this year, I was put in charge of the one we were having this month. So, for the past 6 months I’ve been planning this party. Anyone who has had a conversation with me in the past 6 months has heard about it. (If you are one of those people, thanks for not getting annoyed when I talked about this. You are true friends.)
Grandma and Grandpa are no longer with us, but they started this whole thing.
So this weekend was the big moment. Family from all over the West (and me, coming from NYC) gathered together in Utah for a weekend of getting to know each other again. We ate food, played games, shared stories, and laughed a lot. There were a lot of things that I’d planned that didn’t happen. Very few things happened the way they were supposed to. It was so awesome.
So this walk was all in just a small area. Around a church building, and outside at the park. It involved loading and unloading cars, tracking people down, organizing games, and making sure the kids had what they needed to stay occupied. Also, turning the hose on and off about a million times and getting sprayed in the face EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. #memories #wetfacecontest
Through all of this, I was reminded how important it is to maintain relationships with people who have known you since birth. Even, and especially, when that takes effort.
My family is much like yours. We are descended from the same people, but very different in our beliefs, both religiously and politically. We all have opinions. One of my favorite things about this weekend is how none of our differences caused any issues. We were too busy focusing on how we are alike, what we have in common, and celebrating our family.
Me and my Reunion Committee that helped me plan it all.
In charge of the games. We were doing the cookie challenge.
I’ve been incredibly excited for this event for the whole time I’ve been planning it (and even before that), but there was also a little part of me that was nervous. I came out as gay less than a year ago, and this is the first time seeing most of my (quite conservative) family since then.
I hit the jackpot with my family. Not only was nobody negative or judgmental towards me, but several people were vocal about their pride and love for me. This was surprising, and very welcome.
I could make a list of the sacrifices I had to make in order to attend and plan this reunion. I think we all could. But in the end, it was sacrifice we chose to make that was worth it. Family is worth it, you guys. Every time.
So all of these Robinson Homies got to join me on my walk to Mordor. We made it a family affair.
I’m still in between Weathertop and Rivendell. This is a stretch that it feels like will never end.
Listening To: Robinson Reunion Playlist