The “Miller clan” had our first family reunion in 2016. It was the first time in 14 years that we were all together. Our six children, their spouses and “significant others” were together, except for Billy, who couldn’t attend because of a new employment position. Twelve grandchildren and their significant others, and our first great-grandchild rounded out the 29-member family in attendance.
It had taken almost a year of planning to coordinate bringing the family together from Arizona, Alaska, New York, Singapore, and British Columbia. We gathered at a family resort in Osoyoos BC where some of our BC family had vacationed for several years. It is a lovely facility that caters to families and groups, complete with outside pool and grassy area for relaxing and games. We appreciate all the work our daughters put into organizing and facilitating the event. A couple granddaughters had worked tirelessly to make everyone fun tie-dyed T-shirts complete with “Miller Reunion 2016” monograms.
Sunny days were spent on the lakeside beach or in the water. Swimming, boating, tubing, or just relaxing on various floating devices were some of the water activities. A couple days were chilly and windy, which made for great times of catching up with family news and playing various games. And of course, eating. Other activities included horseback riding, go-cart racing, bean-toss games, and a wine tasting tour.
The fun things were wonderful and memorable, but the more important times were the laughing, sharing — at times, a tear or two — as we exchanged life experiences: Grandchildren growing up and planning their futures; adults reflecting on growing up “Miller,” life expectations, missed opportunities, and a few broken dreams. Sharing things that make a family, a family.
“Family” tends to become more important as we grow older. This is especially true for me after having undergone heart bypass surgery last year. Such an experience causes one to take a fresh look at one’s mortality, and take stock of the things that really matter in life. “Things” can be replaced, but family cannot. With that in mind, we are planning to do it again in three years.
We had hope to have another reunion in 2019 but we couldn’t get everyone’s schedules to cooperate so we planned to do it in 2020. But then covid hit and who knows when we will have another one.
Eli and Marti Miller