Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Generation to Generation

Ruth (not me) Eveline and Lois

This is a picture of my paternal grandmother and two of my aunts taken sometime around 1947. We celebrated the 50th wedding anniversary of the girl on the right this past weekend and it was great fun to reconnect with family members we had not seen for years. My aunt has a number of old photographs in her living room, pictures I have never seen before. She has chronicled much of our family history and has worked to keep us in contact with each other. My young niece, Jaspenelle, whose son is the clan's second youngest member, is interested in family stories from the past, just like me. For some reason, we did not hear a lot of them when we were growing up or did not pay close attention to the ones that were shared. Family connections are important and technology has made it easier to stay in touch than ever before. But we are often too busy and family gatherings often happen infrequently.

Sam, Cassy and Ruth with Max the dog

The third youngest member of our extended family, 11 week old Cassy is in the arms of her grandmother, the girl on the left in the first picture. She is getting acquainted with Samuel's dog Max. Cassy is blessed with an immediate and extended family who love her and who will participate together in raising her. Another cousin in this family is raising a young child who has been in several foster homes and has had no family connection or security. It is taking time for him to develop trust and the ability to relate to others. She and her husband are special people indeed!
I think it is unfortunate that children and adults are segregated so often according to age, in schools, churches, retirement homes and recreational facilities. There is benefit in a social mix of various generations. Samuel and I are great buddies in spite of our age difference. And I am grateful for the other family members of all ages who keep in touch with me on a regular basis.

It takes a whole village to raise a child.
African Proverb

15 comments:

  1. These days, when we truly are so spread out, we have to make efforts to keep in touch. So nice that your extended family is making those efforts Ruth.

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  2. I always enjoy your family post. You are so fortunate to have people in your family who make the effort to stay connected. My uncle and aunt are here visiting from Texas and he's the family historian. He has written our family geneology and knows all the stories of the past. He brought along with him on this trip movies that he had taken that document my childhood from birth on--my kids are fascinated to watch the old 60's movies and to see me as a little girl.

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  3. I come from a large family who all but 2 live in an hour of driving distance to each other. We see each other often for weekly Sunday soup at my Dad's. My parents immigrated to Canada in 1952 from Holland and all my relatives but one aunt still live there. It's very hard to say connected with them. We visit back and forth every few years but now with the ever soaring price of airline tickets it makes it even harder to even do that. Yes the computer world helps, but it's not the same. Sometimes you just need that human hug!

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  4. I do so love old photographs. We should all appreciate the efforts of the "family historian" who shares the family connections.

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  5. Ruth--a wonderful living example of the village that does raise the child.
    I love the words our church uses when a baby is baptized--it captures the corporate responsibility we all have for the children in our midst.
    And, I totally agree--an integrated society is far more caring. For me,that includes dogs (and cats)--as your photo demonstrates.

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  6. My kids volunteer at the nursing home connected to the senior apartments where my parents lived for the last several years. The residents there are always so happy to see them. I remember how the excitement grew when someone would bring a baby to the care center too. Those folks seem starved to see young ones. They are isolated by their age.

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  7. Don't forget, the youngest member of the clan is Dasha.
    Damara's new little girl.
    They just keep coming.

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  8. There was a family gathering on my Dad's side this last weekend but we were unable to attend as D was working ... my aunt just wrote about it.

    I believe too, that segregation by age is not a good thing. Each has something to offer the other and all are needed to make a healthy whole.

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  9. From the "girl on the right" I thank you for the wonderful family blog. Our family BBQ was one of the most enjoyable days I've had...and the weather cooperated so well too. There is nothing like blending together the extended family and all the different ages. Aren't we all really kids at heart.

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  10. My dad is 80, and he has so many stories from the past to share, but the family is so spread out. We set up a blog for him, so he can relate his stories, or just tell about his day. My children enjoy knowing their grandfather better, and he enjoys when they leave their comments.

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  11. I wish I had paid more attention to my grandparents and their stories as a child. Now long gone, I have only vague memories...

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  12. Your picture stirred up some very special memories from the past, as well as your comments that remind us how blessed we are to have just as many warm recollections in our present. Not many families can attest to that!

    Sweet little Cassy has a great heritage and hopefully lots more "reunions" to look forward to...she's her Grammy's

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  13. Ruth,

    I am so glad that you were able to connect with family. Yes, family stories are important and I've told the boys the stories that my grandparents and parents told me - a kind of family history oral tradition. Grandpa was a great storyteller.

    I love the old photograph. I really have to get to Mom's and look through some of the old photos she has. I'm sure that there are many I've forgotten about.

    Take care and thanks for sharing this lovely tribute to your family.

    Blessings,
    mary

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  14. Jayne- It does take effort, and I appreciate my cousins' planning this party.

    Beth- I believe you are talking about Texican. Good that your family has a historian too. Children are interested in this stuff.

    Cheryl- We share a similar Dutch heritage. My family is all over the world and that is where the internet has been so helpful.

    NCMW- Old photographs are special and are not as abundant as our many digital images. I try to make hard copies of some family pictures.

    KGMom- It is good to remind a congregation of their responsibility toward the youngest members. It is always rewarding to get to know a child.

    Lynne- So true! and good for your children to feel comfortable around the elderly. You are raising them well.

    SLD- Thanks for the correction! I see pictures of Damian and Cassy weekly, but have only one of Dasha. (anyone listening??)

    CS- Each generation has something to teach another. It keeps us flexible as we get older if we enjoy the young.

    OmaLois- I know you are still that beautiful girl on the right. I love that picture. (((Hugs)))

    Jan- Good for your dad! and how special for your family to hear the stories.

    RW- You and me both, but I am fortunate to still have people around who can remember.

    Aunt Ruth- Thanks for commenting and (((hugs))) to another special aunt. Cassy is so lovely!

    Mary- I appreciate your love of history and enjoy your posts about the past. Dig up those old photos!

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  15. I enjoyed all these pictures of your family!

    Also, how wonderful of your cousin to offer a home to a child who needs connection and security. That, to me, is the essence of God's love.

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