By Lee Scott
Like many people across the country, I attended a reunion this summer. Although there are different kinds of reunions, mine was a family reunion and included the celebration of my maternal aunt’s 93rd birthday. She is the last of the four Kelly girls, my mother’s oldest sister. Visiting with her, my siblings, my cousins and the next generation, I was once again reminded of how lucky I am to have been born into the Kelly Clan. We are largely a Catholic Irish group although we have branched off as new blood has been brought into the fold and we are spread out all over the United States.
As one of twenty five cousins in my generation, we were thrown together as children and regardless of the fact that we only saw each other for a week or two at a time each year we became friends. Of all the things that my mother and her three sisters passed along was the sense of family. And now as we take on the roles as grandparents, I see that we have passed along that sense of family.
Cousins and second cousins I have not seen in years hugged and kissed and asked about my son and daughter. Facebook has connected another generation and they have already seen pictures of my grandchildren online. We are all reminded that we are connected through the four Kelly girls, as my mother was connected with all of her aunts and uncles through her mother. I remember as a child visiting Rhode Island, my aunts would take me to visit, Aunt Kitty, Aunt Loretta, and Uncle Bill. This list goes on of the elderly relatives that would reach out hug me and say, “Claire’s daughter.” I see this within my own family now. My older sister’s grandchildren, who live several hours away, come up and hug my own grandchildren as long lost friends. This spring, I saw one of my granddaughters grab two of her step cousins and say, “Come on. Let’s sing and dance together.” And off they went.
Our last big reunion picture with the four sisters was taken over twenty years ago. We took another picture this time, and there she sat, Aunt Mary in the midst of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and nieces and nephews smiling into the camera. My family, the Kelly Clan.