But after going, I don't know what I was thinking. There were a whole lot of people there, half of whom I didn't even know. This reunion was an idea of one of my cousins and it was a dream of my Great-Aunt's.
She is my father's Aunt and she is 91 years young and doesn't act a day over 70. She has the honor of not only being the matriarch of her mother's side of the family (my father's grandmother), but she is also the matriarch of her father's side of the family (my father's grandfather).
So it's her mother's side of the family I wasn't familiar with. I had heard of them recently because one of my other cousins has been delving into the family's history for her graduate project.
On our name tags we wrote our first and last names and then underneath wrote the last name of the family we branched from. I noticed my sister had "daughter of Frank," granddaughter of "Frank." It made me think of the book of Genesis in the Bible where the ancestry of one person could go on for several paragraphs.
My father was named after his father, "Francis (Frank)," but was not a junior because they had different middle names. So my grandfather Frank was my Great-Aunt's brother. My Great-Aunt has outlived all her siblings, there were four othersI think. She has outlived my father and my father's sister, and she has outlived a husband, and one of her own two children. She remarried in her 70's several years after her first husband died. The man she married is also still alive and they've been able to spend more than 20 years together.
It was amazing to see how active and vivacious both she and her husband still are. We can only hope those are the genes we inherited.