My Family reunion this past weekend was amazing! It wasn't a very typical reunion, but it was a great one indeed. The Long side (my Dad's side... Long is my Dad's last name, so my name is supposed to be Thyda Long, but we used my Dad's first name rather than his last for our last name to hide that we are of Chinese descent during the Khmer Rouge) of the family decided that we need a family reunion. My oldest cousin is in her early 40's, and I am one of the youngest cousins... so we have a huge age gap. Even so, we were able to gather nearly the entire family together to honor our Parents for the lives that they have given us.
It was a two day ceremony that was held at the temple where our Family took a huge part in developing and expanding. My late Uncle was actually the President of the temple before he passed away in March and my late Grandmother was one of the original founders back in the 80's. My late Uncle who passed away just yesterday was one of the main leaders of the temple... he led the ceremonies and such there when he was still able to. As you can see, the Family is a big part of the temple and the temple is a big part of our Family.
I was surprised to see so much more than just our family at the ceremonies, but I guess it should have been expected. It goes to show that our family is respected by many since the event was to honor our family. It was a nice feeling.
It was us, the kids, who made the event possible. We made sure that the wonderful Parents that we were honoring did not do any work and we took care of everything. I did not realize how much it cost to hold one of these ceremonies, especially one as big as ours... but it was worth every single penny. :)
We had a gift giving ceremony for our Parents... which was very nice. We had family blessings (of course). We also shared the history/story of our family. I was surprised at how many people were attentive and cared to listen, but again, I was flattered. We honored each family and recognized each family member. We were also given opportunities to speak and express our feelings towards the family. I am glad that each Parent spoke and each speech was so heartwarming. I couldn't help but cry during the speeches and when it was my turn to speak, I couldn't do it because I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't stop thinking about my Uncles... one who passed away earlier in the year and one who was at the time, sick and in the hospital. I was terribly sad that they both were not able to join us during such a joyful and emotional time. I couldn't help but miss them. I now regret not speaking because I don't know when I will ever get an opportunity like that again. :( I am on the plane writing this on my blackberry and can't seem to stop crying still.
This had been a rough year for our Family. We have lost two great leaders that will always remain in our hearts, but not by our sides. I wish that they would be able to join us for just one more day... but they can't.
I am very thankful for my Family and I could never say this enough... but I have the best family in the world. After going through these rough times together, I feel that we grew a stronger bond and appreciation for one another. Family will always always be number one to me... blood runs thick.
Family, I love you all so much and there are not enough words I can blog to express how much I truly love, appreciate, and respect each and every one of you. Thank you for being a part of who I am now, and forever.