I attended a cousin's wedding recently. It was mid September and it was outside in South Mississippi, and it was HOT. I was surprised that so many of my extended family members were there. Not that I did not expect them, just that I had not realized they would all be coming. It was really nice to see them and catch up, even if for just a few moments.
As usually happens at weddings, the picture taking went on for quite a long time. Toward the end, they decided rather last minute to get a photo of all the Kays. This is all the aunts and uncles and cousins, etc, on my side. The mother of the bride is my Aunt, my Father's sister. So the photo included all of the cousins present, Aunts, Uncles, third cousins, etc.
Well that sounded like a good idea at the time, but it turns out the Kays would rather not be outside in the boiling heat watching the picture taking festivities (imagine that!). Instead we were inside feasting, visiting, catching up, getting hugs, taking our own pictures, whatever else you normally do at a wedding reception except wait to get your picture taken.
So we are told to come out, and we slowly trickle out to the picture taking place, and take our spots alongside the bride and groom and the bride's mother's side of the family. Seems we are missing a couple of uncles, so one uncle goes to get the other two uncles. That's how it started, anyway. We are mostly gathered and ready to shoot the pic, just waiting for these, now three, uncles. They take way too long, so Aunt, wife of the uncle who went to get the other two Uncles, peels off the line to retrieve all three. Two seconds later here come the original two uncles. Good grief. Now someone has to go get the third uncle to tell him to get his wife and we're all waiting on them now.
This goes on like this for a good twenty minutes. Bride is hungry. Groom is sweating bullets. Plus he is the newest "Kay", so he's a bit shy around all this extended family he does not yet know. This is getting to be a bit of a joke. My aunt, mother of the bride, says something like, "it's just impossible to get this family all together at one time!" Meanwhile the photographer is focusing on the other newest Kays, my third cousins, an infant and her three year old sister who are both adorable!
Finally, we are ready. Smile everyone.... then it hits me. Where is Margaret? Um... "Hold up"! Where is Margaret, Y'all?
Margaret happens to be the Sister of the bride. The only one in this whole tableu who was "in" the wedding other than the bride and groom. The 4th member of the immediate family of the bride. Named after my Grandmother Margaret Kay, she is most definitely a "Kay". Hello?
What's wrong with this "Picture?" The Mom and Dad of the Bride, the Bride, the Groom, Three Uncles and Aunts and more cousins, even second cousins..... nobody noticed that the Bride's own sister was missing? Honestly I can see how it happened. So much confusion, we just automatically assumed the core family was all there. The fact that the bride and Mom and Dad did not notice is also excusable since they've been in a hundred photo combinations by now and cannot really remember who belongs where at this point. But what if we had taken that picture without Margaret? What in the world made me think of her at the last minute. I mean we were on "Say ch...." before I noticed.
We humans, I think, take a whole lot for granted. In this case it was that little Margaret would read our minds and psychically know we were taking a picture that required her presence. How many other things, maybe things that seem incidental even, could be near misses like that in our day to day lives? Somehow just the fact that we make it from point A to point B without major catastrophe seems like a near miracle when you think about it.
Might be a good idea to do a self check every now and then. Not that anyone is expected to be perfect, but at least make sure you've got your kid sister before you head out the driveway. Stuff like that. Never know when she might come in handy.