Monday, July 14, 2008
Thank God for the McDonnell Family
One of the greatest joys of my life is to be part of a big family. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for your openness to life, and for giving me two brothers and four sisters. There is much happiness to be shared in the good times, and consolation and strength from our family during the tough times. I am eternally grateful to God , the author of life, and each of you!! We received a great foundation of love and acceptance that prepared us for adulthood. From my vantage point as a grandmother I am blessed to give and receive love as part of the magnificent McDonnells. As Fred says, we are not perfect but we're priceless! Fred particularly relishes his role as president of the "I Married a McDonnell "club.
Kudos to Eileen for her vision and fortitude in planning our recent family reunion. Four generations of our family gathered at Sandy Cove retreat center, situated on a peninsula with glorious views of the Chesapeake Bay. We enjoyed good meals and conversations, entertained each other with skits, swam in the pools, and played basketball. There was time for some fishing, and admiring a beautiful sunset from the dock. Packs of cousins of various ages darted to and fro, with the fourth generation of great-grandchildren watching in awe and trying to keep up. We spent a good amount of time outside with such a lovely setting to enjoy. The grownups chatted while the children played. Several of the boys had great fun riding their skateboards down a steep hill towards the water , adding that special touch of chaos integral to a large family gathering. Unfortunately not everyone could be there , but the absent members were not forgotten. There are always events to celebrate with sixty people. We arrived at Sandy Cove on Father's Day; we are thankful for the devoted fathers in our family. We're grateful for Pat and Katie's beautiful marriage; they just celebrated their 25th! The time honored family tradition of attending Franciscan University of Steubenville will be continued by Sarah, who begins her nursing studies in August. She just missed Greg, a 2008 FUS grad with a degree in business.
May God our Father bless each member of our family, and may we all help each other to reach our ultimate home in heaven.