Family reunion

Published 11:39 am Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Family: 1. One of life’s greatest blessings

2. A unit of people that love and support each other through good times and bad times

My family and I attended the Simmons’ 47th Family Reunion last week in Atlanta, Georgia and we had a ball. We had hundreds of Simmons from all over the U.S attend this special event and it was truly worth the travel.

For the past 46 years the family reunion had been held in Birmingham, Alabama because that is where it all begin. This year was our first year in a different state. It was a joy to see cousins I hadn’t seen in years, some for decades. I loved looking around at the newest generation and seeing the love they had for each other.

The reunion began Aug. 2 and ended on the fifth. Some family members began arriving early, Aug. 1, in anticipation of the grand time of seeing family that you only see at weddings and funerals.

The first day we arrived in Atlanta, a dear friend of the family (who is actually more like family than friend) invited many of us to her house for a dinner. All I can say is wow. Her home was humongous and sat on a 2 ½ acre lot. Her home had to be well over 6,000 square feet, and it was beautiful.

After dinner we went back to the hotel for hospitality night. My husband, sister, and I were too tired to stay long so we retired upstairs to our room. The next day we saw a bunch of family members and they said my kids turned the place out doing karaoke. I knew it was true because my kids are hams and love karaoke.

The next night was the Candlelight Service where we heard the Word and remembered our founding members who made it all possible. The Simmons Family Patriarch and Matriarch was Andrew Simmons II and Dip Simmons. Together they had 15 children and we honored them all. It was a beautiful, touching and humbling moment. The pastors (who was a Simmons) topic was “How did we get here and how do we stay here”? He said our patriarch paved the way and we must pass the torch. He also said that we are a family of love but with love comes problems so how do we work past problems as a family because we are so much stronger together.

The next day was Saturday and we went to Stone Mountain Park; our hotel was also in Stone Mountain. The main thing I wanted to do was ride the sky train so my family and I rode the train. It was wonderful. After the ride we walked up the mountain and stood on the top. It was a dream come true. I have always wanted to visit Stone Mountain after reading how it was formed.

Finally, that evening we had a beautiful gala at the hotel to close out the weekend. I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful everything was. The music was soothing and relaxing and everyone just enjoyed each others company. Sometimes when you get a huge group together there’s bound to be some type of arguments. I can truly say there were none, we just loved each other and made plans for the next family reunion.

“No family is perfect. We argue, we fight, we even stop talking to each other at times, but in the end, family is family. The love will always be there.” Unknown. Be bless in Jesus’ name.

Mary Simmons can be reached at marysimmons@ embarqmail. com.