Monday, 26 August 2013

Responses to Family Reunions

Our Stories

Yesterday’s blog has created a buzz and I want to share with you some of the stories and comments that readers have posted to my Facebook account and sent to me via email.

Carol Wagler Bauman wrote: 

So...I had a heart-warming experience yesterday. For me, there will always be a special part in my heart for the place where I was raised till age 6. That place is Wellesley. 

Ever since that time of moving from Wellesley, I have felt a disconnectedness from my roots. My heart always rushes when I connect with someone from that area and the "are you related to..?" questions start rushing out.

There was a new couple at church yesterday and I went and introduced myself and they told me their first names and told me they were visiting at the cottage with their son and daughter-in-law. I had just recently learned the surname if this couple and had been curious about their LEIS name. That name shouted Wellesley out to me! 

And suddenly, I'm presented with an opportunity to meet Eldon Leis and his wife. I learned that he grew up in my home church, I learned that he is a well-respected painter (google it), I learned that his cousin married Duane and I and I learned that indeed, it's a small world.

 Sometimes Mennonites are teased about playing the "name game". I don't think that's bad. And in light of a cousin's daughter, Marjorie Klassen, musing that our children are losing the family stories (and heritage, I would say) I will gladly ask these questions and tell anyone who will listen to me.  And, if I go back far enough I would wager that Eldon Leis and I have some common blood between us.

I Googled Eldon Leis and found this very interesting You Tube video he made.  In this video clip he tells us a story about his hobbies and in the telling he enriches our lives.

Elaine Swartz wrote:

Thanks for including us in your blog. We try to get together each Christmas.

I also know that Elaine comes to Ontario every summer to spend a week at Chesley Lake with her sisters and sister-in-law where they share their stories with each other.

M.R. wrote: 

We have an annual one! With 50 first cousins on one side of the family - we have become a renter of halls!

 Eunice Derowin wrote:
I've been enjoying your Grandma Snyder blog and wanted to share one of my (very few) memories of my Grandma Snyder.  She came to visit the new baby (Paul) shortly before she died at age 59.  What I remember best is that like other visitors she brought a gift for the baby, but unlike them, she also brought a pocketful of candy for the 4 older children.

Eunice is my sister-in-law and in her sharing this story she enriched my husband Paul's understanding of and experience with his Grandma Snyder.

This is just a sampling of what I received.  As human beings belonging is key to our survival.  We belong to many groups over a life time.  Today as I read and responded to readers I came to understand that through this blog we are forming a group and together we are shaping each other’s understanding of what it means to be children, parents, grandparents and great grandparents. 

If you have a story you would like share please send it to me and I will consider it for publication on this blog – there is room for many voices and all of our experiences. 

Grandma Snyder
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