A Special Family Reunion

We returned last night from our annual Larsen family reunion in southern Utah. This year it was held at Panguitch Lake for the first time.

My sister Leslie planned the reunion months ago. She reserved cabins for some, campground spaces for others, and she and her family intended to stay in their personal cabin nearby. When Leslie and Danny knew they wouldn’t be attending because of Leslie’s cancer, they invited us to stay in their cabin. We arrived on Thursday evening to a warm and very welcoming (newly remodeled) cabin, wishing Leslie and her family were there with us.


Long story short, we enjoyed lots of visiting on Friday, including a potluck dinner that night where the tables were filled—in true Larsen fashion—with more yummy desserts than anything else.


Then, early Saturday afternoon, after all the women and older girls had finished a craft project (magnet boards and coordinating magnets—one made especially for Leslie with notes of love from us girls attached), who should show up unexpectedly? Leslie and Danny!

We were shocked because we thought Leslie was in the hospital, but Danny joked that they’d escaped, and we were thrilled. It was like Christmas in July!


Needless to say, we all gathered around Leslie and listened intently to every word she spoke while it rained off and on and the hours flew by. It was a wonderful visit!

When Leslie and Danny left hours later to stay near a hospital (a must when she’s at this stage in her treatment), we all noticed how much better Leslie looked than when she arrived. One could argue that it was the beautiful scenery or the fresh mountain air. I think it was a little of that and a whole lot of love!

When I think of the fun we had the last few days watching the kids climb trees and run from camp to camp while visiting until late at night surrounding a campfire, the highlight of this reunion will always be the surprise visit from Leslie.