Stocking Family Reunion

Seeing a family I never really knew much about reminds me that life is full of surprises. Each day can bring something new. We should be learning more about ourselves as we journey towards self discovery until God calls us home for life everlasting. I fully intend on taking advantage of the days I have left on this last half of my journey. The family reunion I attended this past weekend was a wonderful part of my journey!

What a family it is, the Stocking family, my biological mother’s side.
They are indeed so full of love, laughter and personality. From Mark with
his unique quirkiness, Ron with his eyes for perfection and an amazing
ability to make landscaping look like an art, to Debbie and Connie that
just epitomize sweetness and kindness of heart.

We have the family member that has a strong presence even when they are not;
all that attended talked as if Amy was there. That is partially because
of how wonderful she is to us all. She has this uncanny clever wit, a
dastardly way of finding humor in all and keeps us all in stitches even
on days when she is flat on her back in pain. Amy is a breath of fresh
air to all of us that is like the thrill you get of seeing the first flower
bloom at the start of spring. Her goal simply is to live life to its fullest
and make darn sure we do the same!

We also have the eternal optimistic in Renee and Aunt Nancy and the pure
of heart in Aunt Ruth. Scottie, the teddy bear to Kim the 'I love
controversy'! Oh, too many to list but the diversity is splendid,
showing me the finest traits in the blood lines. Void from the day's
festivities and conversations of this family were any mistakes of the past.

For this one moment in time, on a warm hot day in the middle of summer in
Michigan, we stood united. We hugged and we leaned in real close as we looked
at a wall full of pictures of the generations before us, admiring our good gene pool! The family ties bound us together that day, regardless of our political views, our religion or lack of, our life styles or other extraneous traits, we
were a family. We connected.

How ironic we took different paths to get there that day, but we all arrived
with the same gratitude attitude and with a smile firmly planted on our faces.
The family strings unite us, and no matter what has happened, or what will
happen, it will always be that way. When we gather together as a unit, the
bond will be there and our differences will melt and our similarities will
be prevalent in the air. The warmth in the air was much like the sun’s rays
on that warm July day.

Yes, the Stocking family is a family that laughs wholeheartedly with gusto!
It is a family that cries when the situation arises that is sad, as they are
not afraid to show their feelings, no matter what the situation. They are
an outward bunch that embraces life for all it is, the good and the bad.
They seem to know, collectively, the only way to grow in faith and spirit
is to wrap your arms around life with the passion of a child blowing
out his birthday candles.

I am grateful to God for finding the gap in my life to put me in this place this past weekend. (And for a cousin that reached out to encourage me to come also!) What a memory I was given, this reunion. I experienced finding a family that was lost to me, many moons ago. I had forgotten they existed. And to find out they are delightful too! It clearly shows it is never too late to venture back in time and revisit your roots. Wow, it was so worth the effort. They are an important part of who I am, and I am a part of who they are likewise.

You can never really hide from the roots of who you are - so why should you not embrace them?

Connie Brown: You were right, our family is a gift!
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