Getting all eight of us in the same place at the same time is a real trick. And wouldn't you know my camera decided to act up just before the reunion and I missed getting any shots of all of us together! By the time I'd worked out its issues (battery and replacement SD card) it was too late. However, there were many cameras at the sisters' gathering, so I borrowed these from Judy's Facebook album--thank you, Judy!
First, we had to get everyone to quit laughing...
We sort of succeeded at long last, but as you can see below, still managed to catch Maggie and Liz in mid-stride. But folks, this seems to be the best of the many, many pictures we took that morning because we simply cannot be still and behave for a photo.
My sisters had a surprise for me: a scrapbook of their writings about Jon and how hard his loss has been for them. As they described their day putting together the book, I found myself wishing I had been with them to share their tears and memories as they worked to select just the right trimmings for their pages. Can you imagine how healing that was for all of them?
On the assembly day, each of them brought her writing to Julie's house, printed out on beautiful paper; then using Julie's huge selection of decorations they crafted each page. The end result is absolutely beautiful, touching and so moving. I have not yet been able to read all of it; tears get in the way. But this book will be a treasured keepsake, a reminder of all that family can be--not only there to laugh with in good times, but also to cry with and to be there for when the road is not smooth. This was truly a gift from their loving, sisterly hearts.
At the reunion on Saturday evening, we always have a time set aside for sharing stories and songs. While with my sisters the day before we'd traveled into Moorefield for a "junking" trip. We were a little disappointed in our finds, although most of us did manage to find something--but one thing we found, to our surprise, was that sister Maggie knew all the words to 'Down in the Valley;" Theresa, Julie and I also knew most of the words and we sang it together as we drove down the mountain to the valley below. We agreed to sing it for the family storytelling time. Here we are, just into the performance: