When something went wrong, everyone showed up. Twenty or more family members pilled into a small twelve seat waiting area. We were waiting on news of our grandfather’s heart catheterization. He had a mild heart attack the day before and was sent to a nearby hospital the next morning for the procedure. We kept busy with playing cards, talking, and eating snacks. We waited, impatiently, for the announcement for the Allen Family to come and talk to the doctor.
I believe in big families. My family and extended family make up the majority of my life. I live on a family road and have so for twenty one years. Even though I am married and have children of my own, I still live on the same road. My grandfather is the oldest male on my mom’s side. You could say he is the center of our family. He has two sisters and two brothers. He and my grandmother have three children and there are five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. I also have a great-great grandmother still living.
We were all in the waiting area along with my grandfather’s brother-in-laws and church friends. By the time the announcement was made for us to meet with the doctor, we had accumulated other family and friends as well. My grandfather was wheeled past us as he went back to CCU and we all gathered around his stretcher. A huge smile expanded across his face. He was excited to see his family. With his mild heart attack, he had to get two stints. He had his life to live for his family. He is our center and he had to live to lead. He was just happy to be with us, his family.
There doesn’t have to be a tragedy for us to get together. It is usually only holidays, but when we do get together it is special. There is always a smile on our faces and laughter rumbling in the air. Between talking and eating we waste away hours like minutes. We are a close and loving family. We are a big family.
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