Connecting with my grandmother, I finally attended her family reunion near Salt Lake City, where I met all five of her siblings, ranging in age from 73 to 90. As an added miracle, I met 40 new relatives on my mother's side while there.
In late summer my daughter and I traveled to Missouri for my cousin's wedding. While there I met two more of my father's four siblings. (Only one left to meet!) I hadn't seen them since I was five years old, so long ago I couldn't recall recall their faces. We met most of their children and grandchildren. I fell in love with these 25 new people on my father's side. Our hearts were so open, joyous, and grateful to be together that happy tears were a large part of our time together.
It feels like this year I began with my little family of four and transitioned into the middle of an immense gathering under a family tree. My relations have their detailed quirks, as do we all, though they love me. I feel it, I see it, I openly embrace it. We fall from the same tree. We look alike and act alike. I recognize this huge privilege of connecting with living, loving relatives. Some of my friends only have a few living relatives or have such disconnection bridges have been burned. To connect with biological family is a true gift. It is such a miraculous privilege and blessing for my little family to connect with a larger biological family. For my family, large and small, I give great thanks.