Monday, January 11, 2010
Remember when I posted a picture of my great-great-great-grandmother?
This, now, is her daughter-in-law, my great-great grandmother.
Yesterday my family and I attended a giant clan reunion of this woman's descendants.
With her first husband she had seven children. From this marriage came one enormous clan and three large sub-clans.
With her second husband she had three children, each of whom had between five and seven children. Thus three major clans came from this marriage. I belong to one of these.
Needless to say, when you gather this lady's hundreds upon hundreds of great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, great-great-great-grandchildren, and yes, even a few great-great-great-great grandchildren, into a school gym, it's a sight to behold. Each major clan wore a particular color for ease of identification. This is a picture of SOME of my clan - the smallest branch of the family in attendance:
It was an incredible day. Half of the food vendors were from family businesses - almost all of the clans can boast of food talent. There was a sports tournament in the afternoon (my clan won volleyball, soccer, and tug-of-war!) and a light-hearted entertainment segment during which my daughter and I and some cousins performed in a hip-hop number set to Michael Jackson's song Black and White and some of the men in the family did a surprise number in hula skirts.
Every time I attend one of these mega-reunions, I am astonished at the contribution one woman can make to the world simply by raising children. Yesterday we numbered in the hundreds, and we could all trace our existence back to this ONE woman! It was a staggering and inspiring thought.
Our children's lives are changed with things as simple as the way we prepare and share our food with each other, the welcome we give to friends, the conversations we have (or fail to have), the respect (or lack thereof) we give to their gifts, rights, boundaries, individual needs, thoughts, feelings, and passions in life. Even the smallest moment can unexpectedly have a huge impact. It was a great reminder with which to begin the new year.