Lynne d Johnson



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06.23.02 11:22 PM

family reunion

Family at Play

I'm probably going to get it for posting this picture on the Web, but I had to. For some reason it was the only one I took at my family reunion yesterday. The festivities were put together by my moms and her niece's ex-mother-in-law. I understand my moms' need to do this. As she gets older, she wants to be surrounded by family and make sure that everyone is involved in one another's lives. I keep telling her though, that she will outlive us all so she has no need to worry about that.

I have no idea where my brother was when I took this photo, but let me give you the rundown on who's who in the pic. Let's take it from left to right, going around the table. First we have my half sister (father's child), then my full sister's running partner, behind her is my niece hiding, then we have my sister (from both my moms and dad), then my sister's god sister (who is now also my cousin since her mother, one of my mother's childhood friends, married my father's brother), then we have another half sister (father's child and full sister of the other half sister), and finally my niece (who is the daughter of my half sister sitting next to her).

Since I have my moms' genes, body type wise, I don't quite look like most of the women in my family. All of my sisters take after my dad's side of the family. My brother too, actually. The one thing I did get from my father's side though, was the gray hair. See the man sitting way in the back with the yellow shirt and white hair? Well that's my father's brother, and the story is that he started graying at age 9. His mother also had a full head of silver hair. Most of you who have been reading this blog for awhile, already know how I have gone on-and-on about how much my gray strands have increased in the past year. Funny thing about it though is that people don't even really notice it until I call attention to it. And even then, it causes no alarm for them. I guess although I act as if I have no problems with it, beneath the surface it must be an issue for me. Why would I talk about it so much? But I don't dye it or anything, I simply let it live. I don't even think it makes me look like I'm aging. So it doesn't even really make sense that I take issue. The thing I do have an issue with is when teenage boys and men in their early 20s approach me and try to get a rap. Sometimes it makes me curious about how young I look (and we won't even get into the other infinite reasons I wish they would't approach me). But often, I wonder whether it is the way I dress, the way I carry myself. What? And then I think perhaps there is something I should be doing differently—to look my age. Whatever that means. I think that is why I pay so much attention to the gray strands. I wonder cannot these young men see that I am far beyond their years?

Anyway, I had a really good time at the family reunion yesterday. All we really did was talk and eat, and play catch up. But it was pleasurable all the same. Family has always been really important to me, and I do really hate only seeing some of the family members only once a year, or only at baby showers, weddings, and funerals. I believe it is important that families stick together. At the end of the day, that is all we really have—our family. And even when you don't get along, you have to realize just how important it is to have those connections. Who wants to get old without their family around to comfort them? I suppose this is my mother's journey right now.

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