UNITED STATES—I recently had a family semi-reunion of sorts in the past week. I really wouldn’t call it a reunion; it was more like a day picnic. I will be honest I was super anxious about the family outing. Why? There were members of my family I have not seen in years, and I mean years, after a massive debacle at a funeral involving a family member that was just nasty and disgusting.

The event was planned by my father and several others, and it was an opportunity for family to gather and chat and mingle. Granted I ended up showing up to the event quite late, no fault of mine, but it was a great outing. I mean we had plenty of food, hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, potato salad, chips and so much more. I got the opportunity to see cousins, first cousins that I haven’t touched base with in years.

We all have our own lives and as a result of the busy lifestyles we have fallen out of touch. We chatted for hours, talked about kids, talked about extracurricular activities, work, stress and so much more. It was great conversation, people chatted, “Oh, how much have you changed, grown, etc.” We admonished one another realizing that we all have kids, and those kids are having kids. We’re growing up and growing up so much faster than we ever expected. Life is totally changing in front of our eyes, but it was a clear signal for us that we need to do this more.

I think the last time we had a complete family outing had to be nearly 7 or 8 years ago and that was the last official family reunion we had. It was a fun time, but at the same time, whenever you have family squabbles or drama it immediately puts a damper on things because people are not in contact with others, and it just gives off bad energy.

Blood is blood, but they can also piss you off quicker and more brutal than a complete stranger, which is never a good thing. However, I am learning with age to not allow others to take away my good or positive energy that I have that is part of my aura. Forgiveness is key to moving on in life and not holding grudges and allowing negative energy to become part of daily life. It is so much easier to be negative, but with positive energy you can clash out the bad.

There were so many laughs and I mean laughter that was so much fun during this picnic. We reminisced about old pictures from a photo album that had me in stitches. I mean seeing pics of myself as a kid and not even recognizing myself, my siblings, my parents, my cousins, my uncles and my aunts was just so much fun.

We as a family made it clear this is something we have to do more of. We cannot put ourselves in situations where we go years without talking or seeing one another. We have lives, but we are still family which means we have to make the time to see one another no matter how busy we are. Why? Time is precious. A family member can be here one minute and then gone the next minute. You only have one family, once they’re gone, they’re gone, remember that.

Written By Jason Jones