The research we did in Tennessee was only part of a larger trip. The primary reason for the cross-country, multi-day drive was to attend a family reunion of our “new” Blosser family in South Carolina.
My dad with his "little" brother, Kent.
The short version of a long story: My father never knew his biological father. When I started researching my family history I decided to try to find this unknown grandfather or his family. Well, I did find them, and they knew nothing about my dad but were delighted to find out that they had a new brother/uncle. (For the whole back story, start with this post
.) Over the past year we have met different sets of family members, but never the whole family together until my cousin Marsha graciously (foolishly?) invited the entire family to her home for four days in July. And I mean the WHOLE family!
- The whole family, together at last.
Luckily for us, Marsha is an organizer “par excellence” and engineered meals, sleeping arrangements and activities for a whole bunch of people for four days. If you do not have a Marsha in your family, I am very sorry. Every family needs a Marsha. Like Mussolini, Marsha makes the trains run on time. But in a good, non-fascist-dictator kind of way. Aided and abetted by her brother Mark, she began preparing for the reunion by stocking up on food. As they were checking out, the cashier commented on the amount they were purchasing. Marsha explained it was for an upcoming family reunion to which the cashier replied that he wanted to be a long-lost relative so he could attend also. Mark and Marsha just looked at each and burst into laughter. “Sorry, that’s already been done this year!”
We swam in the lake, joked on the deck, had long talks into the wee hours and some of us (not me!) even jumped off a cliff. Those four days were filled with fun and laughter and remembrance of beloved family members whose presence was felt although they are no longer with us. But the highlight of the trip was a family dinner (for something like 30 people) at a local restaurant where, with toasts and speeches, Dad was officially welcomed into the family. There was not a dry eye in the house. After 83 years he finally belonged. Marsha has a plaque in her house that says “A family is a gift that lasts forever.” When you look at it that way, what is 83 years against forever?
Family Tree Firsts is an ongoing blog series featuring newbie genealogist Nancy Shively of Skiatook, OK. Read all her posts at Family Tree University.
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