Saturday, February 23, 2008

Family Trees

Are you interested in your family tree? My mother almost 85, can trace her family back to the days of the American colonists and beyond to her German roots. My mother-in-law almost 89, has no interest in her lineage past her immediate family. I find it fascinating to catch a glimpse of our past and enjoy the research as much as the knowledge of family.

My mother's family has held a reunion every summer for as long as I can remember (and that's a long time!). The current organizers have announced this summer's reunion will likely be the last. They are expecting over 120 relatives from 21 states to attend. My mother is one of the older generation left and wants to be there, of course. This is a special trip for us, over 1200 miles and Mom doesn't want to fly. She is more comfortable with me driving. Unfortunately, it would probably be the last mother could attend from a physical standpoint even if someone takes over organizing future events.

As ironic as it is, my stepdaughter has taken an interest lately in organizing a family reunion for my husband's family. She handled the arrangements last year for the first annual and is now working on this year's reunion. I've encouraged her to dig into her lineage while her grandparents are still with us. I think my mother-in-law would enjoy telling family stories and since she has a sharp memory even to this day, could make the research easier with what she can recall. It takes some time and effort but can be so rewarding.

As one family ends its tradition of reunions, another begins. For our children and grandchildren, I'll have to see how I can help the family tradition.

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