Most folks that know me are aware of how much I love my Dad…I miss my Mom…and I love my family truth be told. I look at my family as if we are a garden with its many shapes, forms and colors. My parents instilled in us the love of people, not just family, but all people. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, was a saying that was common in our household. We believed this, practiced this and shared this with our peers. As children, we planted that seed of kindness to all who knew us.

I recently coordinated the family reunion on my paternal grandmother’s side, the Shephard -Edwards Family  Reunion. We had a host of relatives from up and down the Eastern seaboard. We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard – Navy Yard, which I highly recommend….the staff helped us graciously throughout the weekend…even when one of our Elders wandered off…caregiving never stops. We had a wonderful banquet at Eatonville, where Che made sure all of our  needs were met including accommodating our handicapped and elderly relatives…..at the last minute. I believe it was a fabulous time had by all. The food was absolutely delicious.

What I will remember most is in spite of my panicked moments, personal bathroom meltdowns and it rained the entire time my relatives were here, was the vision as I looked at the garden before me at Eatonville….my family garden. With the many shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds, we were one colorful family, like my cottage garden at home. We all meshed, we mingled, we laughed and we shared memories that could only be shared at that moment….at that particular time….just as in the garden.

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How many times have you ventured out into your garden and saw that perfect combination, that perfect moment when the light was hitting just right…but by the time you ran to catch that moment in a photo….the magical moment had changed…still beautiful, but different?
Well that was my weekend filled with  many magical moments, new relationships cultivated and promises to visit ofteng, as well as staying connected.

While it was a weekend that I did not have the opportunity to physically or traditionally garden, I did have the opportunity to see my Family Garden of sorts and sow seeds of pleasant memories in my mind.

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As a seed from my father and mother , I hope I shared a few petals of joy with those who came, from near and far. Always mentally in the garden, always sowing seeds of joy or imparting as much hapiness as I can. It makes me realize and appreciate the beauty that surrounds me.

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