Last Saturday afternoon I had the special pleasure of enjoying what had to be the world’s shortest-ever family reunion. It occurred in the middle of a Frontier Days rodeo in Cheyenne, Wyoming. My four children, Kristin, Kurt, Jeff and Jeni, watched some pretty spectacular bronc riding and steer wrestling while spending a little more than an hour in the same spot together. Kristin orchestrates a week-long gathering for every rodeo performance for her employer, Century Link, who sponsors a box each year. Kurt recently left a 10 year stint in Tokyo and moved to the wilds of Cheyenne. Jeff came from Florida to facilitate a Disney Institute program at Colorado State University on Monday, and Jeni, on her way to an Ag Task Force meeting in Los Angeles that very day, left Fort Collins and took a quick detour to Cheyenne on her way to the airport in order to make the family gathering complete.
Brief and chaotic as it was, there was something special, something touching and memorable, about our coming together for me. These kids of mine are all in their fifties now, all deeply involved in their work and in encouraging and supporting their collective dozen children as they mature and make their own ways in the world.
I felt incredibly lucky to be present with them all as a background of blasting music and shouts of spectators did their best to drown out our words. No matter. What was important was knowing that we were all there together.
|Kristin Lee, Jeni Arndt, Libby James, Jeff James, Kurt James|