February 2, 2009

Revera's 90th

I love my in-law family. Not many people can say that. I feel just as close to them as my blood relations. So, whenever they have something to celebrate, I celebrate with them.

Last month, my wife’s dear, sweet grandmother, Revera, turned 90 years old. She had family come from California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Indiana and elsewhere to help her celebrate. Because they’re so spread out, it’s rare that this family gets together for a reunion. It was great seeing everyone together and we’re thankful it was for a happy occasion and not for a funeral.

Because her birthday fell on a Sunday and because church has always been very important to her, we all went with “Grandma B” to her little Nazarene church. We more than doubled their average attendance that day. The service was specially tailored to her. We sang her favorite hymns and paid special recognition to her. At the end of the service, she was presented with an official document from the Tennessee State House of Representatives recognizing her and congratulating her on her birthday. Then a short biographical video was shown (courtesy of yours truly). After the service, we all enjoyed barbeque, chicken and birthday cake in the fellowship hall.

Sunday wasn’t the only celebration. The whole weekend was filled with fun and family. Most of the time, we gathered at Uncle Larry’s garage which is more like a club house. It was never long before everyone was gathered around Larry’s player piano. Like a turn-of-the-century karaoke bar, each of us took turns pumping the peddles, while everyone else belted out old tunes of yester-year.
Genealogy isn’t always about the past. It can also be about the present. There were 4 generations present at this family gathering. Grandma B has gotten to know more than a dozen great-grandchildren and they got to know her. That and the memory of Revera’s 90th birthday was a great present for us all.

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