Return of the Prodigal Son

Feb. 25, 2011

It’s not a perfect metaphor, but our weekend in Florida had the feeling of a prodigal son returning to the family fold. Granted, my father couldn’t return to a place he had never been before (like I said, not a perfect metaphor), but, just as in the parable, the Blosser family literally ran to greet him with open arms. And they most definitely killed the fatted calf for us!

the blossers greet dad

After our flight from Oklahoma to Orlando, followed by an hour-plus drive to Vero Beach, we arrived at the Blosser home to find the entire family waiting for us in the front yard. We were immediately embraced as long-lost family, which I suppose we are. My father’s half-brother Kent Jr. and his wife, Ruth, were there with two of their children, my cousins, Kent and Patty, along with their spouses. Dad and Kent hit it off immediately and began a conversation that went on for several hours.

Dad and his half-brother

The next day, Saturday, we got a tour of Vero Beach, and I got my first sight of the Atlantic Ocean. We had a fantastic dinner at a restaurant right on the beach. On Sunday we moved the party to cousin Kent’s house in Port St. Lucie. (Kent is the one I called when I first made contact with the family last April.) After lunch we were treated to a boat tour of the St. Lucie River (didn’t see any alligators, darn it) and then dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.

As I write this, it occurs to me that the weekend might sound fairly ordinary, anticlimactic even. It was anything but. Dad finally met his brother, I met my cousins, and our whole view of who we thought we were has shifted. (Ed. note: That sentiment sounds familiar, right?) It’s a lot to take in. That being said, I feel like I have always known them, this new but not-new family.

All weekend long, people were thanking me for bringing everyone together. But really I had very little to do with it. It was a gift of God and genealogy. One that required a risk on Dad’s part and acceptance on the Blossers’ part. I just had the priviledge of being the intermediary. If this is the only gift I receive from researching my family, it would be enough. But I know in my heart that there is much more still to come. And I can’t wait to see what next pops out of this genealogical Pandora’s box I’ve opened.

— Nancy


Family Tree Firsts is an ongoing blog series featuring newbie genealogist Nancy Shively of Skiatook, OK. Read all her posts at Family Tree University.

3 thoughts on “Return of the Prodigal Son

  1. It touches my heart so to hear about a family reuniting. Genealogy helps to bring people together….in the past and in the present.

  2. Your story reminds me somewhat of our story. My mother was 97 years old before we found the name of her grandmother on her mother’s side as Grandma never breathed a word about who her mother was. We found my great grandparents marriage info in the year 2000 in Hardin County, Iowa and were able to tell my mother that Grandma had one full sister and 8 half-siblings! There had been a divorce sometime in the mid 1880s and Grandma was sent to live with her paternal grandmother who, we had always been told, raised her. Grandma’s baby sister was kept by their mother. Our mother was very excited to find all those cousins. Mom never got to meet those cousins as Mom passed in April, 2004 at almost 100 years, but we have met one. Now if we could just find who our Horton family belongs to.

  3. Your reunion was so near the time of ours. The four
    surviving siblings of my family met over Feb 25-27 to
    celebrate the 76th birthday of the youngest two. This
    was the second year we’ve had a “sleep-over” weekend.
    I had 6 generation charts to give out as presents.

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