I think we can all agree that no family is perfect, but there is still something special that happens when family comes together.
The experience recalls a poem that I recently came across, entitled “A Family Reunion” by Kimberly Rinehart. It immediately got my attention as the writer put to paper the planned and impromptu moments when immediate and extended family comes together.
A Family Reunion
is a time to remember,
a time to laugh,
a time to celebrate…
a time to share old stories
and make new memories.
Recently, we had a Residents’ Reunion for some of Third Street Alliance’s former shelter residents. Like the character in the movies, the ladies and their children came, reconnected and relived some of the chaos, heartache and humor they experienced before and while living in the shelter.
They hugged, laughed and even cried as they recounted the events that led them to the agency.
“I had no other place to go. It was either here or sleeping on the street with my daughter. I was scared and embarrassed,” a former resident recalled. “But the experience made me stronger!”
“I didn’t have family in this area. This became my family … this was my home,” another said.
Like a family reunion, the Residents’ Reunion was their time to celebrate, to share old stories and to remind them of the gift of belonging. As painful as it was, they actually celebrated their past and they are excited about their futures and the new memories they are making.