Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Leif -1993 - Missed at 2008 family reunion

This photo was taken of Leif around the time of our 1993 family reunion in Manhattan, Kansas. He had just graduated from high school and looked like someone who should be on the cover of a romance novel. We had a good time at that reunion, and at the one in 2003.

We held a reunion this past weekend (July 25-27) in honor of the upcoming 90th birthday of my mother, Leif's grandmother, Marion Kundiger, with descendants and spouses coming from as far away as Thailand. It was the first time that ALL of her descendants were there -- except Leif. There were 33 of us in our home, with lots of hubbub and fun, but underneath it all, I couldn't help but be sad that Leif wasn't there. He was such a large presence, both in actual physical size and in personality, and even with a house full of people, his absence was papable.

When we took the family group photos, I had to face yet again that my family was no longer the same, that Leif was not there.

It was a good reunion, with a lot of presentations and activities, and Leif would have enjoyed it. Today we went to the beach and St. Armand's Circle, and I broke down later, remembering that the last time we were there, he had ridden his motorcycle down from Tampa to join us, and I remembered him sitting there talking with his brother.

Tonight when I put my granddaughters to bed and cuddled up with them, I thought again how much he had enjoyed his nieces and nephews, though he rarely saw them.

Where is that joyous-looking young man of 1993? Why is my son gone?

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