Pa had 5 children, 11 grandchildren and 17 great grand children.
Most of them are now here, in my Uncles house, waiting for tomorrow when we say an official goodbye. Add in all the spouses and it makes for one crazy busy household.
Lounges are pushed up against the wall, extra tables and chairs borrowed. There are 4 tables for eating arranged around the house. A queue to have showers. Large communal meals with 10 conversations going at once. So much food that disappears so quickly. Some people I only saw recently, others I haven't see for years. Squeezing past, and accidental bumps. Moving suitcases from one pile to another as we try to find our things. It is loud, and crazy, and overwhelming and beautiful.
It is a testament to Pa, that we are all here. That he made sure he knew all of us, and was interested in our lives. He wasn't a grandfather who sat in his room and only sent cards at Christmas. Each year he did a the tour of all his children spread out around Australia, spending a month or more at each of their houses. He would call all the grandkids at random times, always wanting to know how life was treating them. He genuinely wanted to know.
So we all made the trek, the opposite direction to the one he took. To be with those who knew him best, to remember and to celebrate.
My family, how do I explain it? Even though it might be years between seeing each other, there is a relaxed familiarity. A shared understanding. We know the time we have together is always short so we pack as much laughter and stories and being together as we can.
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior's hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.