My family reunions are somewhat unique in that they are the combination of not just my mother’s side of the family, but also a whole other clan of people that we’re not related to at all.
The reason for this is rather remarkable and beautiful, so I thought I’d share it with you as I close out this week at the beach.
My grandmother–Grandma, as she was born–met her a girl named Audrey in kindergarten in a little town out side of Rochester, New York. The year was 1929.
They’ve been best friends ever since.
They attended school together for years until Grandma decided to be a nurse and Audrey went to business school. But they stayed in touch by writing letters, and they’d trade locations for vacations once they started having kids (Grandma had moved to Virginia while Audrey remained in Rochester).
Their kids grew up and they started congregating for weddings–Audrey had 4 kids and Grandma had 8, so there were a lot of weddings. And then their kids had kids, and they decided to start gathering for family reunions about 16 years ago.
So every two years, Audrey’s clan drives down from New York and Grandma’s family travels to North Carolina for a week of food, sun, laughter, relaxation, and more food. Without even realizing it, all of the kids in my generation have been taught that family can be much more than just those who share your last name.
All thanks to an 83-year-old friendship between two ladies who met in kindergarten. Audrey’s hearing is pretty bad now, but she is so in tune to Grandma that she can pick out her voice from across the room. It’s incredible to witness that type of a friendship.
So I’d like to toast all the best friends out there, especially Trev, who I actually met even earlier than kindergarten in pre-school. How ’bout them apples, Grandma and Audrey?!