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Family Reunion Forum

Blessings and Benefits of Family Reunions

My Stewart family reunion was held on Saturday, June 25. Early Sunday morning, June 26, I had a long conversation with my sister Maxine who had attended and had throughly enjoyed it. She had had several serious health issues over the past three years, and although not fully recovered, she was so happy that she was able to attend and see cousins she hadn't seen in years, and in some cases, had never met.

Early Monday morning, June 27, Maxine had a massive stroke; within hours, the doctors told the family that she was brain dead; my children and I immediately left NY trying to get to her. We did not make it in time. I was immensely conforted by the almost total gathering of cousins and kinfolks at her bedside vigil with her three young daughters and our other sisters. Without the recent annual family reunions, many of them would have known the name "Maxine" but basically only as "one of Aunt Mary's daughters" and no real personal connection with her. We were embraced in the outpouring of love and support from our cousins (our elders are gone except for one). What I am trying to say is, through the reunions, we are beginning to feel connected and not just by the family name and ancestor tree; it is personal now. Maxine would have been proud again. The family reunion is important -- otherwise, we lose track of each other and become just another name on the tree. But I am sure you guys know that.

Thanks for listening. It took me a minute to get to a place where I could share. She was my sister/friend, the one I could always count on. She even took the time to listen to me talk genealogy and when she was well, would go with me to search for records.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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