You hear a lot of dialogue on the death of the American family. Families aren't dying. They're merging into big conglomerates. Another year, another (somewhere near to the) 4th of July reunion for the Bruces. There seems to be some confusion as to how long my Uncle Jim and Aunt Marion have been hosting the reunion. I remember when Aunt Marion's parents summered in the cottage by the pond and a duplex cottage with a big swimming pool in the front yard was summer digs for their children's families. A picnic pavillion and a little wooded area separated the two homes, with a wooden foot bridge for connection. Now Jim and Marion occupy the cottage, and the old duplex has been replaced by a lovely home for one of their sons and his family. A big old farmhouse sits nearby -- year 'round home to their daughter and her family. The picnic pavillion, the foot bridge, the pond and the pool have been constants for as long as I can remember. In fact, I learned to swim in that pool when I was 7. My Aunt Marion sat on the side and instructed me. I did just what she said, and glory-be, it worked. I was swimming back and forth, back and forth in the shallow end of the pool, couldn't get enough of it! Oh, sorry for the rabbit trail -- I was going to say that we've been celebrating family with a Bruce reunion picnic for more than 40 years. How many more than 40 I can't say, but I think it may be more like 50. Someone ought to nail that down.
Uncle Jim has had some serious health issues this past year. It was a blessing for us to enjoy his company at the reunion. And I know it was a joy for him to have us come.
We also took time out from the festivities to remember and honor Aunt Helen who passed away this year. She had been a colorful member of the family and some fun stories were shared celebrating her life and honoring her contributions to our family.
In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.