Family Reunion: 10 Ways to Keep It Real

By Toni J. Spearman

We Are Family!

If you really want to learn about someone’s history, attend their family reunion.  If you want to find out where someone got their freckles and pudgy nose, attend their family reunion.

Of the many things we get to choose in this life, there are two things we have no say about; our biological mother and father.

Whether our parents are among the rich and famous like the Huxtables on the Cosby Show or living in the projects like the Evans on Good Times, we have absolutely no say about the world we enter.

We may grow up with parents and siblings that we resemble but other than the physical, what do we really know about our family’s antiquity? Living under the same roof and bearing the same last name does not constitute ‘knowing’ your genealogy. There are many children who live with or around family members that they never really know, intimately.

 A reunion, however, is a special time for families to come together and reminisce, catch up on old times, introduce additions to the family, learn something new about our culture, etc., and it is a time to celebrate life, love, relationships, and heritage.

I attended my husband’s family reunion recently in Dallas, TX, and had the time of my life. I learned many exciting things about his family and about the man I’m married to as well. There were activities planned that filled our days but what I enjoyed the most were the intimate moments we shared in the hotel’s lobby playing cards, listening to jazz and just getting to know each other better. It was absolutely priceless.

I also realized that the family is a unique structure and that we should learn to do the following:

·       Appreciate our distinct family features.

·       Understand we may not share the same blood, but we’re still family.

·       Cherish precious memories.

·       Know that our history is deep, so we must always honor and respect our elders.

·       Teach our youth about their heritage.

·       Embrace each other.

·       Celebrate the good times.

·       Work through the bad times.

·       Take lots of pictures and videos.

·       Leave a positive legacy of love.

 

The foundation of humankind is the family. We grow and build upon the values or principles instilled in us as children. Whether we are raised by birth parents, grandparents, adopted parents, step-parents or someone who took us under their wings and loved us unconditionally, we are family.

As my husband, children and I traveled home from the reunion I saw a billboard along the highway that stuck with me, it said, “Life is short, but death is eternal.”

I thought to myself, how true it is and with that, I made a deeper commitment to love and appreciate my family like never before. I promise to be loyal and faithful to my husband, patient and consistent with my children, and respectful and kind to my elders. We have only one life to live and we must live it to the fullest, embracing our traditions and thanking God for this great institution called family.

Toni J. Spearman is an author, editor and Life Coach in West Texas. Follow her on Twitter @ToniSpearman1 Get your blog delivered to you! Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. Six Brown Chicks' list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

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