Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Search: A Local Family Reunion

In recent years I have gained a greater appreciation for our annual family gatherings. While it was a little different this year with regard to both place and time of year, it was still a great time catching up and simply seeing everyone in one place. Yesterday we gathered together and took the opportunity to talk and, more importantly, to listen about all that was going on in the family and all the unique experiences that each of us has had over the past year (and a half). It is interesting because we are actually quite the diverse group.

This year I was able to bring more than food to the ‘reunion’ as I had recently completed pulling together all of the information needed for my supplemental Sons of the American Revolution application. Thankfully, I was able to print out an extra copy before leaving the office on Friday which allowed me to go page by page, generation by generation, when explaining our patriotic lineage. This is another part of the process that I really enjoy as I could see their faces when I was able to uncover each piece of information and name of which they were previously unaware. It was the same look that I had when I originally discovered the information.

However, that was only secondary as it was family time to both talk about our lives and also remember some of the past times when we all got together for a day or two. This is the most important part and I have become more aware and appreciative of this particular aspect. After all, we can talk about the past and ancestors whose lives have long since been completed but it is the current, ever changing, lives that we lead which are what makes our family dynamic. Events such as this allow us to enjoy both sides of the equation.

While we all lead very different lives with different experiences, professions, and opinions, we are all part of one family with a common ancestry. Different branches, different leaves; same trunk, same tree. We live in the present but are always cognizant and respectful of the past. I enjoy sharing what I know, what I have been able to uncover, but I truly enjoy hearing about the family history and simply listening to the stories from the current generations. After all, documents will (usually) always exist but the stories will not always be told and are often lost amongst the generations. And a reunion is a perfect opportunity to listen.