Reunion 2019 ~ Grace Family

May 03, 2019  •  1 Comment

The conversation as recalled went something like this: "You know we haven't seen each other in a very long time." "Well, why don't we plan when we can all get together and have a family reunion?" "That sounds like a great idea!" "We could do it when Robert & Marion come down from Canada. On their March break to Mom's in Oak Ridge." "We would need a hall or something." "Everyone bring something potluck." "Wouldn't it be fun if we brought some instruments and sang some of those songs we used to." "The kids could get to know each other and not be strangers." "I am super excited about this." "So am I" "Me too" "Me three"... And the Grace Family Reunion was begun 40 years ago. 

Gathering in for the 40th time from all points on the compass. Everyone has changed dramatically over the years. Grandma and Grandpa Grace as well as Robert (sibling) have finished their earthly journey. We pause at the start of each reunion to remember them and all the others in the past 4 decades who have gone on and the marks they left on our lives. 

"To the outside world, we all grow old.
But not to brothers and sisters.
We know each other as we always were.
We know each other's hearts.
We share private family jokes.
We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.
We live outside the touch of time."
~ Clara Ortega

This was the first year the Kismet photography team was asked to set up and take portraits. Over the years we have always taken a boat load of not-so-flattering candids and action shots. We still did that we but we also captured some family portraits that we were able to make available. 

Here is a fusion video of some of the shots we were able to capture...

Grace_Family_Reunion_2019_1080p

We got as many as would together for a group shot with all of its challenges. 

Even a crazy version which is probably a more accurate portrait of our family. 

On Friday night 28 family members gathered at Calhoun's in Oak Ridge for a pre-reunion meal.

Opening with the "Star Spangled Banner" 

A moment of silence for those who have "gone on".

Then it was time to dig into the grub. 

The line formed quickly and exclamations and murmurs of "Mmmmm this looks good," "David this BBQ is amazing!" as some couldn't wait to get to their seat before popping in a tid bit of the savory morsels. "I have been waiting all year for some more of this..." NO one left hungry. 

Hugs for ALL because we are a "huggy" family. 

 

Phyllis and Don Bell's portrait. 

Some were excited other's were coerced by family members who were heard to say "I want pictures!!!" Cynthia was a vocal supporter, advocate and sales person. LOL

Roger & Debbie even aquiesced a got in for a minisession. 

 

Some were a little more reluctant than others about getting in front of the camera. 

Serenaded by seven Spanish angels, my sibling Sherri & Robert even got in front of the camera. 

I had to take advantage of the oportunity to get a photograph with my Mom. 

And what Nanie lets her girls get away without a couple of shots. 

 

Thanks so much Grace Family for the honor of photographing you guys this weekend and for the joy of being a part of this great family. Through heartbreak, loss and pain we have weathered and learned to laugh at our own dumb mistakes and joy in each other's triumphs and blessings... Till next year, "Fare thee well" ~ Eugene 

 


Comments

Marion B Evans(non-registered)
As time marches on it seems we look more forward to each “Grace Reunion” with accelerated anticipation. 2019 was no different… We circle our calendars and set aside trivial hinderances.
As we gather in and excitedly get our hugs to do us for yet another year, our hearts sing with the joy of family being together yet again .
Our favorite grub is savored, morsel by morsel.... pictures are taken galore and then we all head down to the sanctuary where we gather in and soak up the joy of singing together once more.
We laugh until we cry because our hearts are so blessed.
Before we all leave to head our separate directions, a new date is set to gather again and enjoy each other once more
( The good Lord willing ).
Thank you Grace family for valuing our annual treasure.... “”Reunion”!!!
WOW... 40 years and counting !!
See you all in Paducah, Kentucky next year !!!
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