Monday, November 22, 2010

My Dad's Family

Yes, this is a LARGE group. There are some I know better than others, but I am grateful for all of them. My dad's family is huge. As a child trying to keep track of the Dorris clan and the Whitehead clan and keep them separate was challenging, frustrating, and there were times I honestly wasn't sure which grandparent's siblings we were visiting. But over the years I listened and learned, I payed attention and made connections and things began to stick. Were it not for his grandmothers I don't know where I would be today, because without them I don't know where my dad would be. They were shining examples of love for my father, and even though I never knew them well in person, I have become acquainted with my father's memories of them. Now, I'm not proud of the fact that it has taken me the better part of three decades to do this, but for some time now I have been fully aware of not just which grandparents siblings are which, but also who their children and grand-children are (for the most part, and in some cases in face more than in name). But that's not small feat!
I have enjoyed the many reunions and holidays and life celebrations I've been able to attend in my life. We always have a good time, and it doesn't take long for all the faces, most of the names, and all the voices to become familiar and create a sense of home. I've learned the value of family from my family, and from my father's family. Even when the reunions are years apart, and through the changes in the cast of people present, we are united, we lift each other up, hold each other together, and led what ever help we can. I'm very thankful to not only be descendant from the Dorris and Whitehead lines, but also abundantly proud.

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