This past weekend, I had the privilege of going to a family reunion with my dad and my grandma. My grandma was really wanting to go and this was the first year without my grandpa, who passed away a few weeks ago. It would be a two day trip because there was the reunion as well as grave decoration in honor of Memorial Day for those who have passed on. She doesn't get around well herself anymore and would need some assistance. My mom and my aunt both had to work all weekend, so I gladly went so I could help Grandma. The rest of my family stayed back so they could attend an important gathering going on in Aaron's family as well. He was so wonderful to keep all the kids and take them to see his family so that I could focus on helping Grandma.
Here is myself with Grandma and Dad at the reunion:
The reunion took place in Portsmouth, Oh- for those not from around here- it is way down in the most southern part of Ohio, right on the Ohio River. My dad and my mom both have roots in Portsmouth and so both sides of the family have deceased members buried there. In addition to the reunion, we visited 4 cemeteries! This is the reason we made it a two day trip- it would be hard on both Grandma and Dad to do all of that in one day. (They aren't young and energetic like me...ha ha!)
I think it is kind of funny that both of my parents are from this area. I have asked them before if they are cousins, but I know they are not- my mom is way into family history and would have found the connection by now if they were. I just think it is funny to joke about it if you know the whole southern Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky region.
Anyway, it was a really good trip. It was a great chance to visit with Grandma, be able to serve her a little and learn a lot about the family. It was really neat to hear the stories as we visited the graves and drove around. Here is an example of what we did:
This is my mom's grandparents. For years, my great-grandfather would go around this cemetery every memorial day and put flags on all of the graves of those in the military, even though he was never in the military. My parents found it disappointing that the same wasn't done for him after his years of service in putting out the flags, so my dad put some there for him. We would also put a small bouquet on each one.
Here is a sad story:
This baby was my dad's cousin and, I forgot to ask the date details, but died as a baby about 60 years ago. The baby was a twin and both babies became violently ill and this one passed away and the twin survived. This little hand written stone is the only marker. My dad says he doesn't know why it is the only stone- maybe the family couldn't afford it at the time or something- but he wishes to someday put a proper stone there.
The weekend was filled with stories like this. I find myself wanting to absorb everything lately- I so strongly wish I could meet these people and talk to them- find out what their lives were like.
To end this post on a funny note, we stopped for gas on the way home at a little podunk gas station in the middle of nowhere. It didn't even have "pay-at-the-pump" gas pumps! Can you imagine?!?! Anyway, it had this sign that just cracked us up- I had to get a picture!
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