|Smith family reunion in 1994, just weeks after I arrived in Seattle|
No, this is much better than that! My mother's side of the family mostly live in the Seattle area, and they have been a strong source of support for me in my 17 years here. First I moved in with my Uncle Rich and his family when I arrived fresh out of college; I lived with them for over a year. Along the way, I became reacquainted with many aunts, uncles and cousins. Periodic family gatherings have been a constant amidst all the changes of my life.
Yesterday afternoon, my extended family sent me off with a party. It also happened to be the birthday of my mother and her twin brother. To top it off, more distant relatives from the Netherlands just happened to be in town, so it was a huge party -- 30 people or so. Sarah was reintroduced to her second cousin Julianna, and the two of them played non-stop.
My cousin Misa gave me a book on listening for God's call in your life. My Uncle Hal (my mother's twin) handed off the ancient, precious, multi-volume Interpreter's Bible that my grandfather used. We also heard lots of offers to connect us with various people's friends and family in the D.C. area, should we need assistance with this or that. And my parents presented us with a GPS for our car!