Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Family reunions......

So I recently got a facebook announcement of a family reunion (Roelke/Johnson)  that is taking place in Minnesota in a couple of weeks.  Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend.  Some of the people pictured in this photo will actually be at this reunion.  This photo is from 1948ish (I'm not exactly sure of the date - I am guessing based on my sister Julie who is standing in the front row on the far right).  My mom is not in this picture so it is entirely possible that my mom took this picture! This was years before I was born.  But I love this photo!  The two women in the center front of the picture are my Grandma Johnson and also Grandma Roelke.  Now the interesting thing is that two of my dad's sisters married brothers.  So most of our reunions have been billed as both names.  And this photo is an example of the longevity of these reunions.  I also have to point out my cousin Marv Johnson who is on the far left, standing right by his Dad!  Marv and his wife Iris have already replied YES to this years reunion. 

Now here is the really interesting thing about these reunions.  At this point, most of the people who would attend, do not know me. Thanks to facebook, I am "friends" with several of my cousins, but I can't remember the last time I actually sat and talked, in person to any of my cousins.  I am the youngest of the cousins.  And, unfortunately, several of my generation are already dead.  Quite honestly, because of the age spacing in this family, I am much closer in age to the NEXT generation, than I am to my own generation.  This made for some interesting times for me at these reunions.  I have very vivid memories of one reunion that took place in 1967 or 68.  I was still not a "teenager" and my cousins (both first cousins and second cousins) were all teens.  They left me in the dust - literally.  They drove me down a country road, kicked me out of the car, and told me to walk back.  Needless to say, this was NOT a very good memory for me.  

One of my favorite memories is of a more recent reunion.  I'm not quite sure of the year, but I think it was in the late 1990's or early 2000's. 

These are a couple of photos from that reunion.  It was really special that my two sisters and one of my brothers made it to this reunion.  I remember my mom talking about being the last of her generation.  She just loved getting to see all the nieces and nephews.  It was a special thing for her to go to these reunions. Thanks to my sisters and brother, she often got to these reunions.  If there had been more notice, Ken and I might have tried to make this event, to honor my mom. 

I have written so much about family in this blog.  And here I am today, writing and thinking about family once again.  And more than just family..... family getting together and just celebrating that they are family.   I am so thankful that Gwen and Doug make it a priority to be together with their families and just celebrate!  

And here's the thing.  I think that every time I get together with like-minded people and worship Jesus, it is a big family reunion.  We are there to celebrate that we are all in the same family and have the same father and the same brother. I just love this picture of family celebrating together.  That is why it should always be a priority to gather together as a family and remember who we are and why we are getting together.  There is a lot about priority in this.  Sometimes you just have to decide to celebrate and remember.  And in total truth telling (which remember I promised this blog would be) I have forgotten this far to often.  I have not made these gatherings a priority.  And tonight, I will commit to changing that.  Won't you join me in this challenge, to remember and make it a priority, to gather together.  And that every time we gather with friends and family who love Jesus, we are celebrating something wonderful!  

Jesus, thank you for family.  Thank you for welcoming us into your family and giving us so much to celebrate when we gather together.  Holy Spirit, remind us of this commit made here today.  Help us to remember and make it a priority to worship and celebrate who we are in Jesus.  Thank you for family reunions and the chance to make memories across many generations.   Amen

1 comment:

  1. My mother is holding me, I look about 1 or so. I was born March 48, so guessing this is summer of 1949. :)