Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I learned a new word today.

I came down to Kentucky to attend a Wright reunion. My father, sister, and granddaughter came, too. My granddaughter, Lana, is four years old. She will be five on Sunday. She has traveled with me to Cleveland and met my great aunt Hazel, half-sister, to my grandmother, Nancy Alice Hall Bentley, my Uncle John Vint and his children, and my cousins, Otho and Pat Holcomb. She fell in love with them all and at each home wanted to stay on. She went home and told her parents that she wanted to move in with me and just spend time traveling around and meeting "her people".

She got to go on this trip because she is getting a new swingset for her birthday and it was being set up by her dad and Uncle Gary. In preparing for this trip I told her that I didn't know this branch of the family very well and that I didn't know if there would be any or many children. She said, that was ok, if there were old folks I could meet them and she would meet the young ones. It turned out to be a nice gathering even in 96+ degree weather. We were at the shelter at the dam at Fish Pond in Letcher County, Kentucky. There were enough trees and a breeze to make it very comfortable most of the time.

The group was made up of the children of Joshua and Ida Mullins Wright. I got reacquainted with their children, Jay, Rosie and Jack Wright. I had been to this reunion back in 1991 and had met their brother, Doug, who started me on the research for the Wright family. Doug passed away in 2002. The family had a very nice gathering. They had pictures of the family members who had passed away since the last reunion. They gave away gifts for the oldest, youngest, longest married and newest married couple. They gave away many other door prizes for other such categories and for names drawn by chance. Afterwards they had an auction of things donated by family members. My granddaughter got a new stuffed animal and enjoyed bidding on it so much I thought she was going to bid on several other items. She was not happy when I clamped my hand over her mouth as several items were being offered. I did buy one mystery gift which was in a brown paper bag. I got it for $5. Many others asked to see what was in the bag but I said, I would only let them look for $1. I did have a taker on that. I thought I might put this item in a box and let it be auctioned off again next year.

The food was great. The children had a place to swing and there were baseballs being tossed about by several adults to any of the children who wanted to play. It was a very nice reunion.

Later, I visited my Aunt Anna in the nursing home in Whitesburg. Lana was glad to meet her and took pictures of her. The next day we went to Pikeville and visited with my Aunt Lettie, who is also in a nursing home. We went to the dining room and had a nice chat. They had a group come in who sang some songs and did some preaching. Lana enjoyed it. When the minister said there would be more singing after the preaching she wanted to stay through til she had heard it all. We ended up slipping out and going back to Millstone before it ended.

When we got back to Millstone I was just getting out of the car when Uncle Jerry pulled up and said that Aunt Lake had passed away at about 3 pm. We were due to go home the next day. Her viewing was this evening and the funeral is at 1 pm tomorrow. My sister Donna and I had not brought dresses or even dressy slacks for such an occasion, but we decided to stay on rather than go home and turn around and come back straight away. We went shopping on Monday to get something suitable to wear. Lana could have gotten by with her clothing, but I decided I wanted her in a dress for the funeral.

We told her that Aunt Lake had passed away, but only answered her simple questions with simple answers. We said we would be going to a visitation and a funeral. She asked about it and considered it another reunion and referred to it as such. At the visitation I saw folks I hadn't seen since my own mother's funeral. Lana glanced at the casket in front and said, "Oh no, something is wrong." Becky had told her grandchildren that their grandmother had gotten really tired and had gone on to heaven to live. Lana listened to this explanation. Lana found that Becky and Bobby's children had children that were her age. She finally met Bobby's grandchildren through his daughter, Misty. She and Becky's grandchildren, Keegan, Shane's son, and Kaitland and Lake, twins of Brandon got acquainted not all that quietly in the back corner and kitchen of the funeral home. When the twins went to look at their grandmother, Lana stood beside them and listened to them talk quietly about their grandmother being asleep and in heaven now.

Lana and I sat out on the porch at the funeral home in their glider. She asked more questions about Aunt Lake and I explained about being quiet and saying goodbye to a loved one. Lana said she thought she would miss her Aunt Lake. I said that she didn't know her. Lana said, "But I got to know her at the refuneral. My cousins told me about her."

So in her mind she knew we were calling it a funeral, but she she had felt the spirit of a reunion in meeting again with Bobby Joe and Madonna and the cousins who were new to her. Maybe she has something there.

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