I should warn all non-Marshall descendants that this post will likely bore you out of your mind. One of the unforeseen blessings of our venture to Florida, has been reconnecting with my mother's side of the family. Since she is here visiting with us for two weeks, we took the opportunity to spend a few days mingling with some beloved relatives. It was a weekend of laughter and story telling. While mom reminisced, I learned many things about my ancestors and met people I had only before heard of. There was dinner on the pier followed by three part harmony, songs from my mother's childhood that I fondly recall her teaching to me. I thrilled in listening to the beautiful melodies and realizing the special memory that each song holds for her. Speaking of the halls of memory, they were meandered down this weekend; forgotten events remembered, sweet emotions relived, and hearts healed. And in so doing, new memories were created and engraved in the mind forever. Generations of cousins became dear friends, already planning for their next reunion. There were moments of realization, "That's where my interesting laugh came from.." But more importantly, the realization that I'm following in the footsteps of amazingly strong women who bore their trials with unfailing strength (we ain't no shrinking violets, southern or not). I am reminded of the powerful love of family. A love that can overcome the inherent challenges of life and give meaning to everything.