Saturday, August 06, 2016

Family Reunion

I am sorry to say that I am not a "reunion" sort of person -- our family reunions when I was growing up were too fraught with drama for my liking.  My husband's family, however, loves to have reunions and they do so every two years.  And we go.

Now, bear in mind that they just buried my husband's aunt two weeks ago and you would think the mood was not be particularly celebratory but we did  have the reunion today.

My husband's maternal family is Czech from Moravia.  His grandfather, Adolph, immigrated when he was about 6 along with his siblings and his parents.  Adolph's father didn't survive the trip to the United States and his mother, a midwife, passed within the first year of being here.  My husband's grandfather and his siblings were adopted or taken in by a doctor in the Halletsville area who raised them, educated them and helped them with citizenship.

Adolph didn't stay in South Texas but settled in Central Texas -- an area rich in farming with a large Czech community.  He married Marie and had four children.  Marie passed as a young woman and he married Annie, a young widow with two children.  They went on to have five more children together, my mother in law being one of them.  Between the eleven of these children there were many children and grandchildren.

There are only two of the original group left -- my mother in law and her brother.  They are in their mid-nineties. There have been five burials since the last reunion two years ago, the most recent two weeks ago.

Today we had the opportunity to go through boxes of papers and pictures belonging to family members long gone.  We were encouraged to take what we wanted, the cousin who had these in his possession didn't really want to have to take any of it home.  I managed to bring home some meaningful paper work involving the farmland that Adolph acquired when he relocated to Central Texas, some photos of the original "homeplace" as my mother in law calls it, some family portraits -- there was so much stuff -- some of it relevant to my husband's life and some not so much.  It was quite the genealogical find.  It fills a box.  It still strikes me oddly sad that a piece of paper, a bill of sale, a list of purchases at the feed store can outlast people.  These common everyday items seem to have so much meaning.

The next reunion will be in two years.  Is this going to be just a "cousins" reunion with all the old folks gone to glory?  Are we now the old folks? Is it going to be in the country again like it usually is or will it be at the new venue that we were at today.  Changing, changing, things keeps changing. 

Whatever it is, wherever it is -- I am sure we will go.