Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Reunited and it feels so good...
This weekend I loaded up the baby and drove 5 hours northeast to Walsenburg, Colorado. "What's in Walsenburg?" you may be asking. Well there's a Subway, a Methodist Church, a Best Western, a park, a police department, train tracks, and a truck-stop. "Which of those compelled you to drive 5 hours alone with a 9-month-old baby?" might be your quiery.
None of them, although I visited all of them. I drove to Walsenburg for a family reunion. I have an interesting family (don't we all?), and some of the members are getting a bit long in the tooth, so we decided we should reunite while the reuniting is still good. My greatgrandfather Pat married Kate. Pat had a brother named Doug who married Kate's sister Ethel.
That's right, I've got double-cousins.
This reunion was very interesting. I learned about a great-aunt that even my father had never heard of. She worked in an orphanage and she contracted Hepatitis C and died. I learned about more cousins with the same names as uncles. Sadly, I have not halted the habit my family has of repeating names. Looks as if future generations will continue to be confused by Judys and Pats and Jasons.
I learned that my daughter is now a clingy baby. She doesn't want to be away from me, which is at times flattering and frustrating. I learned that I better figure out a way to deal with the stress of traveling with a child.
It was refreshing to visit with people that I only see every couple of years. I met the wives of two of my cousins. I met another cousin's son. I got to visit with my cousin who was active in the National Guard until Saturday evening. He is now inactive, and we don't have to worry about him returning to Iraq. Phew.
I saw pictures of my family living in the Great Depression. My family survived, and I am proud of them for coming through what must have been a terrifying time.
I am very grateful for my family. I am grateful for the legacy of health they have left me. I am grateful that the living members have been honest about depression through the tree, so that I am vigiliant about watching out for warning signs of depression. I am grateful for the unconditional love that I felt from family members that I knew, and those I had just met.
Walsenburg, Colorado. Who knew a five hour drive would reveal my optomistic side?