Friday, September 4, 2009

mi familia

two weeks ago was my family reunion in PA. we do this every year -- sometimes we can make it -- sometimes we can't. this year my brother got to come -- he lives in Texas, so its a big deal when he's here at all let alone for a reunion. the last reunion he came to was the year my mom died -- 21 years ago. so imagine the surprise on ppl's faces when they saw him there yesterday.

most of the time ppl show up at these things and we haven't seen each other for a year or more and there r so dang many of us -- my dad was the baby of like a dozen -- and we don't really know each other and we have to introduce ourselves all over again. then there is this sort of self-imposed "clique-ishness" that happens and idk y it happens but its kind of annoying how ppl push themselves into pockets and don't come out of the pockets to chat with others. this year, that didn't happen and it was kinda cool.

sometimes i feel like there r so many ppl at these reunions that they can't all be related to us and maybe they r just strays off the street looking to belong to a family. i mean, everybody needs to be able to say they belong to a family ... even the family of papa god.

this year we also all got to meet the great great granddaughter of a man who was my great great great grandfather's son -- and the brother of my great great grandfather. yeah -- confusing i know. there is some speculation that my great great great grandfather (john) came here from ireland -- although there is also speculation that he was born here to parents who came from ireland. we know where he is buried and so after the reunion we went to visit his grave (i'd never been there before) and there were a zillion daughertys there -- no lie!!! so i took photos of all the headstones -- many of which u can't read anymore coz they r so worn down.

when ur standing there looking at these names on these stones and realizing that somehow ur related to them its kind of overwhelming. u don't really know them -- sort of like the living ppl at the reunions -- yet there is a real sense of family connection.

i discovered that i had a great uncle who was a pastor and before that i had two great great uncles, and a great great great uncle who were all pastors. idk where their mantles went when they passed on coz my great uncle had a daughter and she didn't become a pastor and i also wonder how many other ppl in my family were pastors. it makes me realize though that my love of papa god was forged a long long time ago in ppl i don't even know.

watching ppl at the reunion├č, seeing faces, i can see resemblances in them to the ones in the old photos from generations past that i put in my scrapbook. it isn't just looks that r passed on -- all the talents can be passed on as well. the artists and musicians who were in my family show up in my children and my cousins, and their gifts. all of that is passed down from generation to generation and needs to be cultivated and activated so its not lost. we can't afford to squander what gifts we've been given -- future generations can't afford it either. we need to be mindful and protect it and grow it to pass on to the next generations.

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