Scenes from a Family Reunion

My last trip to North Carolina was to our family reunion. It wasn’t the traditional Watts reunion hosted every year at the American Legion in King. This one was on a Saturday night and included beer. Scandalous. It was also limited to my great-grandfather, MP Watts’ family and his eight children’s children. In fact, sadly, only one of the original eight is left – Frank. My Grandma Merritt passed away on Christmas Eve. She was the last surviving daughter.

Tomorrow we are leaving for another sad goodbye to Joan. I caught her saying goodbye in this video clip. She had a rare form of leukemia and passed away within ten days of finding out that she had it. We were hoping to visit her this week. Unfortunately we did not make it in time.

When we were in the fifth grade, we stayed with Joan after school. I think that technically Leslie was our babysitter. But Joan was always there. I just realized this week that we probably stayed with them because that was the same year that my grandfather had a stroke and was very sick. I remember playing with Landon, who was a baby. We also watched lots of cartoons, including my favorite ones about the houses of the tomorrow. And I thought it was scandalous that Leslie was going to see Purple Rain, which was rated R. I am pretty certain that she was only 16 or just about to turn 17. Wow. Of course, I think that I also knew that it featured the best soundtrack of all times. Alex and I did lots of dances to Let’s Go Crazy that year. She was the choreographer. Good times.

We will miss you, Joan. Much love.

I just want to add that this video ends like most I take around my family. Donna saying she is not going to tell my mom something and my mom saying, “Just go ahead and tell me.” That is when I cut the camera off.

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