Every year since May 1978, the Mills’ Family reunion has been held during Memorial Weekend. It came about after my Daddy was killed in an automobile accident this same weekend in 1977. I would turn ten years old that following July, as my brother would turn six. It was a harsh way for a family get together to come about, but years later…it is still being held on the same date, year after year.
My Daddy was the first person buried here. I couldn’t tell you how many countless times since I was ten, that me and my cousin would make the walk over the hill to the cemetery. We would pick flowers along the path. Sometimes I would feel like crying my heart out, sometimes I just felt lost. Other times, I was unsure what I actually felt. My mother never went there. Ever. Not until she was buried there also in 2006. The Mills’ cemetery holds my beginnings, my middle and the end of my days having both of my parents, along with Aunts and Uncles that were very much a part of my circle growing up.
I would love to say that I make it every year? Fact is, I seldom go. Instead, I am down the entire weekend, anxiously awaiting everyone’s photos. I call my cousin usually just to hear the noises of my family in the background.
If I were to create a to-do list for next year, it would be on the very top of that list.
There is something about gathering with your family. So many things change during the years, people change, and if you are not careful you will miss the important parts of catching up. We miss so much living away from family. Time can never be recaptured. When you do get the opportunity to be with those in your “Circle of Love” it seems to fly by.. and you cherish it all the more.
I guess it is one of the major reasons I love my Facebook so much? It at least gives me a fighting chance to keep up with everyone. We share stories, photos and enjoy occasional chats. It’s a major improvement from the days of paying for a long distance call.
Every year I promise to make it the following year. I hope someone holds me accountable to it, remind me of my words. There are so many family members that I missed the chance to visit. Some are gone from this earth forever, some just aren’t capable of making it every year. So again, I glance through the photos taken, feeling my heart sink a little more, wishing I had been there.
Next year……my calendar will be rearranged…and although it is a busily traveled weekend, I will make the drive. It has already been too long. There is no doubt that the time will zoom by and I will never feel like I have enough time to visit, but I am looking forward to cherishing some much-needed family time.