Today is the first day of August. Where did the summer go? The past several weekends, I have had invitations to my family’s reunions. I didn’t travel to my brother’s cottage on the Lake Michigan shoreline, I did visit my husband’s brother, Gene at Brohman MI for a Smolinski family reunion. The family and friends have gathered in this western michigan town for over 43 years. The weekend event was started by Helen Smolinski to gather the family and keep in contact with distant family members.
This was My 30th time to attend.
Over the railroad tracks, you find several cottages that have used by the family for vacations. Grandma and Grandpa Smolinski’s cottage was called ,”Lazy Days”. It has been improved and modernized but still stands on the road to Indian Lake.
Great Grandma Helen didn’t live to see her family reunions take shape .Walking near the old lilac bush, I noticed a plaque with the following words.
Teofil and Helen Smolinski
Loving founders of our family
Those we love don’t go away
They walk beside us evey day
Unseen ,unheard, but always near
So loved ,so missed and very dear
They were both first generation American citizens. Family and faith were cornerstones that united them.
The sharing of stories was as important as the sharing of a meal. I have changed from a newcomer to be a senior member of the family unit. I watched as 20 or more children, the next generation competed in games and races. I remembered our own daughter Ruth,playing and enjoying the same activities.
Though many of the original family members are gone, their spirit is still in the hearts and minds of the remaining family. As I hold the hand of a toddler and give my neice and nephew a hug, I am passing on traditions and memories for generations to come.
an acrostic poem
Some traveled to this country for a better life.
Many have worked to make this country a home.
Often, they would be targets of prejudices from others.
Like those who came before and will come after, they lived and loved.
I see the past in the photos of the family now gone.
Now, they are remembered with stories and smiles.
Still the children come to hear the stories of their forefathers and mothers.
Knitting the generations into a family unit.
In each face there are traces of past generations.
They are remembered with laughter not tears.
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