People die. This is a logical fact of life. People feel sad when other people die. This is also a logical fact of life. But this Saturday I’m anticipating a nasty emotional wave when I make the pilgrimage to Toronto, Kansas for the first Swilley Family Reunion since my Grandma and Grandpa passed.
Grandpa worked hard to entertain and engage the big groups of old people as they drank watered down coffee and iced tea. Grandma always made sure everyone in the room was identified. “That’s your great uncle’s, ex-wife’s daughter’s newborn . . . isn’t she adorable,” she would comment as she made her rounds.
Sitting here in Chicago, I miss the opportunity to gather new memories of these people. Sitting in Toronto, Kansas surrounded by strange Jell-O Salads and unfamiliar faces, I’m afraid I’ll have to face the empty space left behind and the reality that these wonderful people are actually, physically gone.
Enough with the lump-in-the-throat material. Stay tuned. If I can find an internet connection, I plan on reporting from the family reunion front line. The Buicks, the tattered Tupperware labeled with old strips of masking tape, the long, drawn out discussions covering prescription drugs and cholesterol problems . . . you can get it all live from the hot and humid, frontier where the buffalo roam and guys named Curtis write pointless blog entries.