Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Annual Coffman Reunion- Memories

Sprinkles and Clouds...what happened to the 60% chance for rain?  I know we will have fair weather tomorrow because we had a beautiful sunset tonight...sailor's delight.

Clouds going over us now but no moisture.

Today was the annual Coffman Reunion at the Winigan Community Center.    So many of  Poppy and Mommy Coffman's children are no longer with us.   The number that attend the reunion is dewindeling each year.  Danny and I had to  take care of some business this morning and we arrived at the reunion after they had lunch.  We visited with most of the attending family members.  Aunt Mary, 95 years young, is in the nursing home in Kirksville and she did not come today...she is so sweet and I missed her a great deal today.

Forty two years ago when I attended my first Coffman Reunion after marrying Danny in May, I felt like I had always been a member of the family.  Danny's grandmother, Jessie, called Mommy by everyone was the sweetiest little woman.  She gave birth to 13 children and lost one of her babies, James A.,  to a childhood disease.  I never heard the little woman say one bad word about anyone. Her words were kind and true.    Everyone that came to her small home was greeted with open arms.  She loved her grandchildren and her large family loved her too. She was a living lesson of love.   At family gatherings, Mommy and Poppy's yard was filled with playing great grandchildren while their parents, the grandchildren played cards and visited.   Danny had missed the years that he was in the service during Vietnam as well as his brother Doug who was gone many years due to being in the army.  Relatives came in from many states each year for the annual reunion.  The tradition lived on after Mommy and Poppy went home to be with the Lord and it still continues with only 4 daughters still living.   Many of the neighbors and friends of the family that always came to visit with the large family are no longer with us.

The Baker Church and Cemetery is just up the road from the old Coffman home.  Many of the family and friends are buried there.  As I walked from grave to grave, I can see the faces of the ones we loved and miss.  Sweet Uncle Willy with the kindest smile and so sweet and gentle.  Uncle Freddie with a glint in his eyes as he teased you.  My own father- in- law that always smiled and winked at me.  Danny's mother that loved my children so much and spoke of her Kentucky home.  Our first baby, Amy Anne that died as an infant from a staph infection that she got at the hospital where she was born.  Infant twin sons of Danny's brother as well as their mother that died at a very young age.   And so many others that hold a dear spot in my heart and many that I did not even get to know but have heard my husband talk lovingly about.
As I reflect back on Danny's family and my own, I realize all the living we have done in the last 42 years and all the times we grieved a loss and our lives went on.  In each phase of living this life, I see life differently.  I now can understand why the older generation said things or acted differently to death when I was younger, I just had not lived enough life yet.

Mommy and Poppy Coffman

Danny's cousin wrote a blog about the family and the family reunions.

The four  sisters, great aunts that I wish I had gotten to know better.  I wish I had taken the time to ask them more about their lives.

Mommy when she was a young lady.  
Jessie Fanning Coffman, a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.   The sweetest  woman that I have ever  known.

O Lord,
Sometimes you have demonstrated your power through visible, miraculous signs.  At other times it has been subtle, moving in my heart as I seek you.  Sometimes you have worked through events in my life or used people like relatives like Mommy and total strangers in the most unlikely places to accomplish your will.
Sometimes you have been a quiet little voice in my mind and other times you have been a force greater than all things.  You are a constant and unchanging love, law, and promise.  You rarely work the same way twice, you are a mystery to me so I know that I must trust you diligently and live with a sense of expectancy, knowing that you want to work through me.  Often it isn't until I look back that I can see your works.  You have proven over and over that I can trust you and I am so thankful that your hand is  on me at all times.
In Jesus Name I pray,

The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathways for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you."  Psalm 32:8

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