Reunion Days

Jul 12, 2014

I’ve written about my extended family before.

These are almost always stories of absence. The cousins we have yet to meet. The grandparents we too rarely hold. Family, for us, is always too much or too little.

I am a foreigner to my own family,

a stranger to my own mother’s children.

(Psalm 69:8).

Our lives are stretched across too many time zones. My father has always said it is a good thing our country is not any larger because then we would only live farther apart. But with one sister’s imminent move to Hawaii, our country has suddenly grown much larger. And we will, indeed, live farther apart.

But summer days are reunion days, and through some miracle of spirit and frequent flier miles, we came together.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I have found this to be true. But now I know that absence grows other good fruit. Because the holes in our lives where family might be do not stay empty. These gaps and fissures turn out to be fertile ground for things like hospitality and community. Friendship and adventure. Without family to lean on, we become needy, but these needs are always met.

We come together and discover that we do not have less but so much more. We have family, and we have friends. We have family, and we have neighbors. We have family, and we have our communities. We have family, and we have life in abundance.

We have more.

May your deeds be shown to your servants,

your splendor to their children.

(Psalm 90:16)



  1. Tracy Defina

    Wow beautiful how blessed – looks like pure fun!!!!

    • Christie Purifoy

      Tracy, it was like our own mini (nonstop) VBS. Lots of fun and completely exhausting. 🙂

  2. Lorilee Mundfrom

    Family is wonderful and when that family is not around it is so good to have “family” in the church, neighborhood, and community where one lives! I truly found that out when my husband passed away suddenly. We live in a town where he served as pastor to a congregation. When he died the whole congregation came alongside as well as much of the community our whole church body, and of course family members on both sides! God is good to place us in families!

  3. Dan McDonald

    For me our family members are not always close but this gives me an idea of how to further relationships at those family gatherings. So often we talk only about what we had in common in the past, where your remark concerning neighbors and communities tells me the simple thing easily neglected in some family gatherings – simply talking of what is going on in life now, not what has transpired in the past.

    • Christie Purifoy

      Yes, exactly, Dan! Though, admittedly, we spent quite a bit of our time remembering the past. But, yes, I think both are necessary.

  4. Sue Tell

    Wonderful words Christie. And a picture to be framed.

    • Christie Purifoy

      Thank you, Sue! Kelli did a great job with her ladder and remote camera “clicker” thing. We’re lucky to have a photographer in the family.

  5. Diana Trautwein

    What a great picture! And which of these are your siblings? Hawaii makes a GRAND vacay spot for a family. Just sayin’.

    • Christie Purifoy

      Diana, you are singing my sister’s song. She’s determined to see us all at least once in Hawaii, and I hope she gets her wish. I’m the oldest of four. Two sisters and a baby brother. My “baby” brother is the tallest man in the picture. 🙂

  6. kelli

    this line:
    ‘Without family to lean on, we become needy, but these needs are always met.’
    so glad we had this summer (and my camera clicker thing;)

  7. Glenda Childers

    Saying goodbye to family this morning.


  8. Kris Camealy

    This is so good, and full of truth. My family also lives scattered across the map, and we don’t see enough of each other most of the time. It IS hard but you’re right, those holes have led me into deeper community with people unconnected to me by bloodlines. God uses everything. My older sister lived in Hawaii for a few years, I’m sad to report that I never made it out for a visit 🙁 I pray that you do!!


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