It was kind of miraculous, I guess you could say, the way we had this spit of beach with so few people running about on it.
It was a holiday, after all.
And not just that, but Memorial Day weekend. Prime time for those who like to kick off summer in a most dedicated way.
And not just that, but a resort. A lovely resort positioned right on Amelia Island where the canopies of the Live Oaks create a world so private you feel protected, sheltered, hidden away.
We made the most of it, I’ll tell you that, the fifteen of us gathered there. We’d come from all over, a family spread north, south, west, our ranks growing up and moving out, moving on in different directions, inevitable, really, as this is what life demands.
We stay committed though. Even as distance and new responsibilities make it feel more impossible. This family reunion mattered so to Dottie, you see, the mother and grandmother who those many years ago started it all, the matriarch who asked us to promise the summer gatherings of the family would continue.
For now it is us, our generation who guides. We feel her presence with every conversation, every giggle, every hug. Every story retold for the hundred-thousandth time. We feel her pleasure as the siblings reconnect and the cousins bond and the daughters- and sons- and grandsons-in-law meld into a family that is every bit theirs.
As we hold each other close.
As we toast the miracles.
As we share the joy that is another year together.
We are grateful.
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