My wonderful, courageous, beautiful mother
In my mind today, I'm thinking about family, generations, and reunions. This afternoon I was engaging with some cousins as we embark on organizing and tweaking a reunion over Labor Day weekend. I remember as a child and teenager these reunions. It's my mother's side of the family. I love to listen of tales about growing up as a sharecropper in the bottoms of West Tennessee. My mother's family didn't have many material luxuries by any stretch of the imagination. Life was cruel, dusty, and exhausting. No indoor plumbing, tv, or telephones for your leisure. What leisure, right? My husband still is in disbelief that my grandparents had an outhouse.
The life of an oldest daughter with several siblings was one wrought with work. My mother was amazing. She was so strong and smart. She took to school like a duck takes to water. That's one thing I'm truly grateful for because she tried to implant that in each of her children.
Like I mentioned, my maternal side didn't have a lot in today's standards but they had something greater. They had huge families that worked the fields together, ate lunch together, and spent many weary, long days together for the survival of each other. The love was a deep love that had no leisure time to be fickle. They shared each other's burdens, grief, and prosperity. I'm thinking it was a clan-ship of sorts. Cousins were your best friends. Aunts and uncles loved you as much as their own because that's what families do.
As I waited on my cousins to arrive, I thought about how I'm thankful for my roots. I know that today our lives are more splintered than ever by jobs, distance, and smaller family sizes. We aren't tied to the land and it's bounty as we once were. I can't wait to hear tales of yesteryear, laugh, and plan a reunion so my children can see what a deep well of love that their mother sprang from and hopefully inspire them to embrace their heritage. It may not be the the most glamorous or storied but it is ours. We all have a beginning. I'm so blessed mine was immersed in love.
Sarah Anderson Alley
Quotes of the Day:
"The most important thing in the world is family and love."
"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."
"Family is not an important thing. It's everything."
Michael J. Fox