Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Reunion Time

Celebrating the 70th reunion of the Millat Family in Dayton, Ohio was special, as always! My Dad's family has been getting together two times a year (once in summer, once at Christmas), since 1938 and what's amazing is that some that attended this year still remember that first one quite well! Here's what my Aunt Ruth, age 92, had to say, "We had our first reunion right before I married... our Dad preached a little and said he dreamed that God would send his blessings on his children, and all of his children's children, and their children.... and that we would always gather together." (Here's Aunt Ruth and I). "Our Dad" (my grandfather, Gustav Millat) met my young grandmother, Anna Textor, on the steamer Patricia when they immigrated from Germany in 1905. They married, settled in Germantown, Ohio, and bore 14 children (2 died in infancy), raising them through trials and triumphs in the Great Depression in an old stone farmhouse. My Dad, Bob, is the youngest (our son is his namesake), born to my grandmother when she was around 45, a few children after the doctor told her she really shouldn't have any more (Grandpa was in his 50's).

I have many happy memories of egg tosses and wonderful food from all of the reunions I have attended over the years, and am just now understanding how fortunate I have been to have "cousins by the dozens" who have mostly stayed close, very rare in these times of transience. Although four of my Dad's siblings have passed away, I am still thrilled to see Uncle Herb, Uncle Dave, and all five of my Dad's sisters- Aunt Gertrude (Trudy), Aunt Dot, Aunts Ruth and Esther (twins), and Aunt Annie (I tell them all they're my favorite, just as they tell me I'm theirs!). All attended this reunion. Aunt Trudy is almost 98 and just renewed her driver's license, still living independently (and thinking so, as her daughter tells me! They are all German, after all). She made her traditional chicken and dumplings- we always have wonderful, home-cooked dishes every time! I can tell great stories about each one of my aunts and uncles (and countless tales about my Dad), but will save them for another time.
Although we have the common thread of our genealogy, our family is as diverse as any... with many adopted children and the range of variation as in most families... all types of careers, disabilities, homosexuality, some financially successful and not, and with a range of health challenges. The thread that keeps so many attending the reunion year after year is undoubtedly just what my grandparents, Gustav and Anna Millat intended..... love.
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1 comment:

Dianne said...

How wonderful that you have so much "living" history in your family. Must have been a great weekend.