Today I had the pleasure of visiting with members of my family (the Baxter side) at a park in Snellville, which is just outside of Atlanta, for a rare family reunion. I have to confess that I’m not much for family reunions in general. I used to view them as a kind of pop test in which I was expected to remember people’s name or understand how each member of the group was related to one another, but I always felt I wasn’t up to the challenge. Therefore, more often than not, I would attend them out of obligation but usually with little joy. However, and perhaps this is due to my advancing age, I felt this one was different. I enjoyed it much more than I had expected to.
It was a real pleasure to see some folks I hadn’t seen in a long time (Bowen, Sheridan, Sarah Ann, Ralph, Zeke and others), but it was equally joyful to get to know some others (Frank, Tom, Dan, Lynn, and Lee, for instance) who are members of my family but members that I haven’t had the chance to interact with much before.
For instance, I got a chance to talk with Jane Baxter (Zeke’s daughter), who honchoed this event, and who was the prime mover behind scheduling it. She has a company, called “Roots and Branches Archives,” that creates DVDs that capture the photos and memories of a family’s history. Her company is located in Nashville where she puts together DVDs of the sights and sounds of a family’s heritage that preserves them for a lifetime but also uses them to introduce the younger members of the family to the community into which they have been born. I consider her company not just a valuable service but also a blessing to the families she serves. We need more ties to our ancestors and more links to the generations that have gone before us.
While I was at the event today I took some pictures that I’ll eventually post here or elsewhere. I can only conclude this brief observation about today’s family reunion by saying that I can’t remember when I have enjoyed reconnecting with my family more. Thank you, Jane, for being the prime mover in making it happen.