Family Reunion

Lets start off with me venting then conclude with something good.

Have you ever tried to do something good, and have it blow up in your face? This happens to me often, and I never seem to learn, and chances are I haven’t learned this time either. I helped someone get an apartment by paying first and last, 6 months of rent, signing my name for the apartment and helping them to move in.

The moving in was fun, because something good was being done for someone with a baby. I’ve done this many times before, and I will do this many times again. The apartment was nice, it did need an initial cleaning as most do, and in a crawl space were many empty beer bottles. Eggbert, and I packed what seemed to be 500 empty beer bottles into my car. We saw some grouchy church people pass us by holding all the beer bottles, shaking their heads. Later I would learn that a rumor was started that Eggbert and I were having a fling and that we were both drunkards.

Now for those of you who have never done this you’re thinking “ah, he shouldn’t have put up the money.” No. It’s the putting up my name where I shouldn’t have. This person over the course of 6 months has turned the apartment into a pile of poo-poo, like literally. I’ll explain more after. It started with the landlord calling me at all hours complaining that the tenant was not home, and the 2 year old baby was alone, crying. I couldn’t believe this to be true so I would go over to get some answers. I would get further calls of noise and dirty smells coming from the (basement) apartment, I would go over and get some answers. This got worst and worst until I got a call that the tenant had left, and that I should come over to see the apartment.

I went over, with 4 other friends, the same that helped move her in just a few months prior. Well, what we saw is something we are still talking about, something we’ll be talking about for a long time to come. A 800sq ft apartment turned into a garbage dump. Dirty baby diapers piled up into the bathtub (HOW DID YOU SHOWER?) and garbage everywhere. I mean, everywhere. I mean really everywhere. We brought 10 large garbage bags with us, and I had to go to the store to buy 40 more. Yes 40 more garbage bags.

There were some items we thought to be in good condition; particularly clothing and baby items and so we took those over to the goodwill donation truck at the Westwood Mall. The intake manager was delighted to get so much stuff all at once. It was such a stressful night that after I took everyone to Mandarin so I could drown my sorrows in shrimp and honey garlic ribs. A few days later we would read in the paper about a Mississauga goodwill donation that had to be burned because it caused the staff to get sick. We jokingly laugh, with a touch of fear that it could have been the donation we made.

The worst part of this story? The landlord told me she trusted me when she took in this tenant, and now she doesn’t trust me. I do this thing all the time. This year so far I’ve paid for 3 peoples first and lasts, 2 turned out very well and this one blew up in my face.

And now to some good stuff as promised. My friends invited me to go to their family reunion. I jumped at the opportunity because I’ve never been to a family reunion. I’ve seen them on tv in movies, but my family doesn’t do that kind of thing. This started off with a drive out to the country. A farm, maybe 10 acres or more. When we drove up I thought “wow look at this massive property.” Turned out that was simply the front yard. The backyard was 10x bigger and had several crops growing including corn which we would later pick, roast and eat.

We arrived rather early, and just helped with the cooking and the setup. One of my favorite things to do is walk around, so I walked around. I walked up and down that country road, enjoying the absolute nothing that was out there. Back at the property people were starting to arrive, young and old. The children wanted to play so we did some Frisbee games. I sat on a tractor. I had conversations.

Now it was the conversations that made this family reunion so much fun for me. So many different generations of family, from babies, to grandparents and I think there was a great grand parent as well.

God does the same thing for us. He invites everyone into His gigantic family which consists of all kinds of people of all ages and all backgrounds. Strangers are welcomed in and treated as family. And there’s lots of food :)

We spent the time talking and talking more, taking photographs, laughing, telling jokes. Someone told me they were going to propose to someone else, and then that someone else asked me what that someone said, but I won’t tell. I will be at the wedding though :)

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