We have great fun and spend hours laughing, cooking, and eating.
These are two of my aunts, picking up where they left off the last time.
Did I mention it is hot? This is not a good picture of me, but you can see the price my hair pays for the humidity and that I've sweated off all of my mascara.
One of the last things we do before we all depart is to visit the cemetery where so many of our ancestors are buried. It saddens me to see this cemetery, as our family's plot and only a few others are kept up. Brush has grown over many of the others, obliterating these memorials to someone's loved ones. Rattlesnakes keep at bay those who might like to fix up the neglected areas. We leave flowers on the graves of our family members and listen to stories from the older generations who knew them.
I've noticed graves there that are marked only by a wooden cross, a large rock with now unintelligible letters scratched in it, and other such nontraditional memorials to people long gone and not remembered now by anyone in the land of the living.
This little grave touched my heart.
I stood thinking of those little boys, and how they must have been loved and cherished; how they must have enjoyed running and playing with each other. Probably they weren't in the living memory of anyone in their family anymore, but I did take some comfort that at least they were buried close together.
That's another great thing about families. Even though you're gone from this earth and now in the presence of God, you remain alive in their hearts and memories for as long as family gathers. I think of those little boys now as a part of my family and I've told their story to my kids. Although we don't know their names, they're playing together again, this time in our hearts.