We had the best time I can remember with Chris' family Memorial Day weekend. As my faithful readers are aware, we go to Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center every year with Chris mom, Susan, her husband, Wayne, his siblings, Kevin and Jennifer and their spouses, Linda and Leon and all the kids. This year, it was a total of TWENTY! Had Kial been there (Kevin and Linda's eldest) it would have been a perfect 21.
LEFT TO RIGHT: SUSAN GUINN, WAYNE GUINN, LINDA COLLINS, KEVIN COLLINS, ZION GOODENOUGH, FLANNERY COLLINS, LULLABYE COLLINS, SIMEON GOODENOUGH, ELSIE GOODENOUGH, EPHRAIM GOODENOUGH, ASAPH GOODENOUGH, CANNON COLLINS, NEHEMIAH GOODENOUGH, HAVILAH GOODENOUGH, CHRIS COLLINS, ZURIEL GOODENOUGH, ERIN COLLINS, JENNIFER GOODENOUGH, NAPHTALI GOODENOUGH, LEON GOODENOUGH
KAREN, SUSAN'S SISTER CAME WITH HER HUSBAND JOHN TO VISIT FOR THE DAY AND IT WAS WONDERFUL TO SEE THEM! (SUSAN, KAREN & JENI)
I have fallen in love with Leon and Jeni's 2 new additions, Zion & Simeon. They are sweet boys from Liberia and were adopted a year ago. I love the Goodneough kids. They are respectful, loving, sweet, gracious and love to hug. I whispered to Zuriel (9) and Havilah (14) before we left "Just jump in our van...I won't tell your mom and dad." they smiled and laughed and told me they loved me.
LEON & KEVIN ON GUITAR AND EPHRAIM ON MANDOLIN HYMNS, CHORUSES AND FREE MY SKIN
Leon and Jennifer haven't lived in town for years now...and when we see them once or twice a year, I love every minute of it. But this year was different. I spent time swallowed up in Jennifer's loving stare as I told her about my lumps. I got teary as she shared her heart to me about children. It felt kindred. Not normal kindred, but soulmatey. And my time with Leon was just as precious. He and I have some sort of radar between us and get the same signal at the same time in any situation. It's really weird. I can look at him and I'll just say..."oh man," and he will start laughing because he was thinking the same thing. So, when it was time for the Goodenough 9 to leave...it hurt.
I sat in the final service as Pastor Mike Howerton spoke on Heaven, and Jennifer was behind me. I started to almost weep. I scrawled her a note. I don't remember everything but I told her that I didn't think my soul could bear her leaving. Jennifer creates a sanctuary about her...and if she lets you close, you don't want to leave. (Dangit! I even cry as I type this!) She read it and reached up with her hand on my shoulder, and I held it and cried harder. My face was wet as was the neck of my shirt.
I went to the van and hugged Leon goodbye, and my tears began to fall again, and I said, "I just can't seem to bear it this time." I also told him I would visit X-Fest. If they will be in town, I will be there. I need more doses of Leon and Jeni.
Best family reunion ever...I truly didn't want it to end.