Family ties

I just got home a little while ago from a family reunion in New Jersey. What a trip … and that’s a good thing!

But before I get too far, let’s rewind a few months. At my dad’s funeral, a few of my first and second cousins were remarking about how the only time we get to see each other was at funerals. And cousins Judy, Lois, Marion and others rolled up their sleeves and planned a quick family get together. What resulted was over 100 adults and 25 children spanning six DeGrezia generations gathering to share a meal, laugh, reminisce, laugh some more, eat some more, laugh, hug, meet relatives we didn’t even know we had, laugh, snack, try to figure out who fit where on the genealogy tree, laugh, hug, swap photos, hit the dessert table (more than once), recall personal memories, take a group photo {I promise I’ll post it when I get a copy, but I really don’t know how the photographer will or got all of us in one shot}, hug some more, grab a dessert for the road, laugh, say our goodbyes and leave with a new appreciation for family. And for every one of us there, there was another who couldn’t attend for one reason or another.

The sun peeked through the clouds, the breeze was refreshing, the temperature was comfortable. The day truly was perfect as our common ancestors watched over us with a sense of pride — nonagenarians to toddlers to a couple of buns in the oven — and their heaven mates said, “This is good.”

We took time out to remember those who went before us and celebrated the lives that gave us life and identity, complete with their quirks, warts, accomplishments, failures. And it struck me, the most endearing quality handed down generation to generation to generation to generation to generation to generation was family. We can choose our friends, but family is family. It’s a special bond.

I don’t think I was alone. I didn’t see one sad face in the sea of DeGrezias. My daughter quipped she had never seen so many hands talking in one place before.

It started with Italian immigrants from Avellino, Josephina and Modestino DeGrezia. They had a daughter, Louise (Modestino Siccardi), and five sons, Chappy, Sal, Emil, Frank and Tony. I, of course, come from the Louise root.

We figured the last DeGrezia family reunion was about 16 or 17 years ago. The last one I remember going to was about 30 years ago. That’s just too long, so I am happy to report the reunion committee has already decided to meet regularly and plan the next one next year. One of the thoughts being floated is possibly a Thanksgiving gathering. Now that would truly be something to give thanks for.

And, to think, all that joy came from a chance conversation after the sadness of a funeral in July.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: When God made you, He wasn’t having a bad day. He made you to be the way you are on purpose. He finished creating you and then He stepped back and said, “That was good. I like that … another masterpiece.”

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About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
This entry was posted in Faith, family, Memories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Family ties

  1. Deanna says:

    So sad I couldn’t be there but glad you guys had a great time. Thanks for the update and I can’t wait to see the picture! Here’s hoping I can make it next year!

  2. jane rotella says:

    From Quindici, Avellino, Italy, Giuseppe and Giuseppina Scibella had 3 daughters. Luigia married Giona Scala, my husband’s great grandfather. Louisa married James Balbi. Carolina Scibella married Nunziato Cavallaro. Their daughter Angelina S BeBe Cavallaro married Frank DeGrezia. Hello cousins.

  3. Pingback: A Special Birthday Present | Father Says…

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