I am HOME for the weekend. Not the home where I live, but the HOME where I grew up, where my roots are, where my mom, brothers, and their families live. Texas. All of us are here: me, B, W, and O. Ivy stayed back and, I am told, is sulking: we’ll return Sunday evening and hopefully all will be forgiven. In the meantime, it’s a family reunion on both sides of our families.
The reunion is Three funerals and a wedding, sort of twist on the Hugh Grant movie from the 90s, Three Weddings and a Funeral.
The last time all of the families on B’s side got together, it was a funeral, actually the last three times have been funerals. It started in April ’14 with B’s sister, then B’s dad two months later, and eleven months ago in November, B’s mom. It’s been a long two and half years.
This weekend has been in the works since earlier this year when my nephew announced his engagement. He’s the first of my nephews or nieces on B’s side of the family to get married.
In the spring, B asked me when I wanted to arrive and she booked our flights. I took two days away from school so I could visit with my mom and brothers before the wedding weekend.
This fall, I let my family know I was coming to visit and I finally got excited. I don’t visit Houston and my family as often as I should and when I come I’m full of emotions of growing up and being grown up.
Thursday, B, O, and I visited where we met – and showed O and recounted our story of how and where we met. Then O and I visited with my mom and I got to see David, my youngest brother and a nephew play in high school football game. It was a wonderful day and we finished the evening eating dinner in one of my favorite Tex-Mex restaurants, after Texas BBQ for lunch.
Friday, I picked W up at the airport and went back home (to my mom’s house) to visit, again. It was nice to see her two days in a row and it was even more fun watching W talk with his only surviving grandparent. It’s been a while since he has seen her, too long.
While I visited with my family, and stayed out of the way, B busied herself helping her sister with the rehearsal dinner and final day wedding preparations.
Friday night was the rehearsal dinner and it was lovely. I’ve watched my nephew grow up, almost like my own children, but in bits and pieces – a visit here, a visit there – two, three, or four days at a time. I watched him and I kept an eye on W and O. One day, it will be their day and I know that they will be ready.
Saturday morning, I was finally able to connect with Warren, my middle brother. We met for coffee and caught up. It was great.
And Saturday night was the wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony and it brought back memories of B’s and my day 25 years before. It was the first wedding O or W have been to and O was asking all sorts of questions. W was just watching and talking with his cousins.
Then the wedding reception. We mingled, we talked, we ate, we drank, we danced. It was a wonderful night.
— Clay Watkins (@makingdayscount) October 30, 2016
It’s now Sunday morning and I am heading home, the other home where I live and we are raising our family. I’ve got to pack and make the plane. W, O, and I leave this afternoon; B comes home Monday.
And life marches on. I have another nephew who recently announced his engagement, our next big reunion will be next fall.
Today is gonna be a great day, I know it and I can feel it. So, I’d better jump up, jump in and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one trip HOME, one reunion at a time, sometimes sad, sometimes joyous, but always memorable.
When was the last time you went HOME?