But I'm so excited about the coming weekend. Despite how religious my family is, I've never in my life been to a Easter Sunday church service. Every year, my maternal family has a massive reunion in Anson (outside of Abilene). Family comes in from all over most of the southern US and we get caught up while some of the guys grill steaks and burgers for everyone. We have a big Easter egg hunt and the kids do battle to get the choicest eggs.
So we're getting all set for our four day weekend. We've got Larkin's Easter outfit ready, I put together his Easter basket today, and we're starting to get packed. Now, the logistics of surviving the road trip from Houston to Anson with a 6 month old who hates the car... well, I'm still bracing myself for that.
|His Easter basket - how cute is that? No candy this year (sorry, buddy!) but he got some summer clothes, bubbles, a little tiger toy and a stuffed monkey that makes him giggle every time he sees it.|
|His new summer clothes!|
I'm so excited to go this year because most of my extended family still haven't met Larkin yet. I can't wait to show him off and introduce him to his amazing family. My precious cousin had a little boy just two weeks after Larkin was born, and I can't wait for them (and the multitude of other little kiddos) to grow up together running around like we did.
This year will be hard because it will be the first reunion since my great uncle JD passed on. Since my dad's father passed away when I was about Larkin's age, JD was like a grandfather to me. He was an amazing man and a true hero - both military and just your average, everyday hero. I love and miss him daily, and it'll be hard not to be able to run into his strong arms. He passed away just a short time before Larkin was born, which broke my heart. I knew he wasn't doing well, but I had prayed that he would last until Easter so he could meet the little boy I was carrying.
I'm excited to attend the reunion for the first time as a parent. I see our family in such a different light now. I am inspired by the memories of the family that has passed on, especially my great grandparents who started the entire clan that will be meeting together this weekend. When I was younger, I was always looking for my legacy. Something that I was good at, something that I could accomplish, something that people would see long after I was gone and remember me. After losing two friends way before their time, I heightened my efforts. I wondered if it would be my writing, my photography? What would make people remember me?
Now I realize how far off I was.
Larkin will never get to meet my great grandparents. He will never play with my Pops, be swung around by JD, or bounce on my granddad's knee. Jonathan's grandfather will never make him laugh. There are so many people that he'll never get to know. He will hear countless stories about these titans that went before him. He will know their names and their deeds. But most likely, his children will not know the details of their lives. They probably will not recognize the names Madie, Toad, and Bruce. Their children will know even less.
But they will know their legacy. They will know the spirit of their ancestors every time Larkin bows his head to pray over them. They will know the seeds that their family has sown so diligently and upon such fertile soil. When they see a healthy marriage, they will see the influence of my great grandparents, who loved so fiercely for so long. When they see the women of their family serving and smiling and the men leading and standing strong - they will know.
I realize now that the point of a legacy isn't to be remembered by name. What you leave behind should be more than a name. Books wither, letters crumble, paintings flake, photos fade. Names are forgotten. The spirit of Christ, the dedication of love and the strength of family - that is what lasts forever.