“Reunion Day”

My Dad, Buck Gifford, was one of eight siblings, five boys, three girls. Through the years, I was impressed how the eight of them stayed so close. They genuinely cared for one another. For many years they met together for a Gifford Clan reunion, which they thoroughly enjoyed. One by one they have passed away. It is amazing the long life the Lord gave them. One died at age 98, three at 95, two at 89, one at 85, and one (my dad) at 82. Through the years, as family and friends gathered for the funeral services, we cousins would reminisce about the past reunions our parents enjoyed. Someone always said, “We need to have a cousins reunion.” All of us would agree but after everyone went their way, the suggestion died and the reunion did not happen. This year, in April, the youngest of the siblings, Uncle Leon, passed away at age 95. After the graveside service, one of the cousins again suggested a reunion. I said the need to make it happen is for someone to take the leadership. Cousin Pat said, “I appoint you!” I responded, “Okay, I will do it!” Thus the beginning of the 2017 Gifford Clan Reunion.

The date and place were decided and we began to make the contacts. Through the help of the Internet, social media, texting, the telephone, postal mail, personal visits, and word of mouth, most of the family was informed. Everyone was asked to bring their picture memories and food to share. Distance prevented some of the families from attending. Some were too ill to attend. For others, work and travel hindered attendance, and some were not interested. For a few, past grievances stood in the way. On the other hand, one family interrupted their vacation travel plans to attend. One family from another state traveled all night in order to be involved in the special reunion. One mother was especially blessed to have all four of her children with her on this special day.

On Saturday, June 10, 2017, fifty-eight of the Gifford Clan enjoyed good southern cooking, games, door prizes, sweet fellowship, sharing of memories, and meeting of some family members for the first time.

From all over the world those “in Christ” will be caught up together for the grandest of all reunions. That will be a glad reunion day. All in the family will be in attendance. Work and travel schedules, distance, illness, disinterest, grievances, nothing, absolutely nothing will hinder attendance. We cannot even imagine all that is planned for this reunion. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (I Corinthians 2:9). A song I grew up with is a reminder of the reunion day for the Family of God.

Glad Reunion Day
“There will be a happy meeting in heaven I know.
When we see the many loved ones we’ve known here below
Gather on the blessed hilltops with hearts all aglow
That will be a glad reunion day.
“When we live a million years in that wonderful place.
Basking in the love of Jesus beholding His face.
It will seem but just a moment of praising His grace.
That will be a glad reunion day.
“Glad day, a wonderful day…”

This is written because I care… Carlene.