Most of us have participated in a family reunion or two this summer. These events are a time to catch up on family news and reminisce about days gone by. Tables are laden with plenty of food and lots of laughter fills the air. A typical reunion has a picnic atmosphere, games, a list of family achievements, entertainment, sports events, genealogy research, and whatever else that may be a part of a family’s tradition. But what I like best is listening to aunts and uncles talk about those who have lived and died. The tales are not only a slice of history but a part of me.
Family reunions take different shapes and include traditions according to what draws a group of people together. Most families simply want to stay in touch because of their love for each other. Within those families are story tellers, history buffs, genealogists, and varying professions united to keep relationships alive. Some gatherings show their unity by wearing matching T-shirts and having a common theme. Distributing family tree information is also popular as well as scavenger hunts unique to a family’s past and present. Cookbooks and skits draw crowds as well as photo swaps. Still other families have reunions at vacation sites.
Most of our family traditions have roots with our ancestors of the 1800s. Family closeness was important then, and it is now. All people have a need to belong and feel loved. Families may not be perfect, but they do unite us in community. While we make phone calls and send emails to invite others to our family gatherings, those in the 1800s wrote letters. They saw a need to stay connected—physically and spiritually.
I think the hymn “Blest Be the Tie That Binds” depicts what knits the hearts of family members who understand how face-to-face fellowship, hugs, and smiles are what keep families and stories alive.
As a writer who enjoys penning historical fiction, I can look at old photos of family gatherings and imagine the different personalities, their wants and needs, and the obstacles in their lives that keep them from achieving goals. I see the love in their eyes and timeless warmth.
If you have been ignoring family reunions and gatherings, perhaps now is the time to make a fresh commitment. Who knows? Maybe someday a writer will look at your picture and see the spark of a fresh new story.
Pursuit of Justice
Releases October 1, 2010
This is the 3rd book in the Call of Duty Series.
Bella Jordan is assigned to investigate a series of murders in that are linked to the Spider Rock Treasure. Since she spent the first fifteen years of her life in this area, FBI authorities believe she can get the job done. What they don’t know is that one of their —a man who’s been on their wanted list for years—is deeply connected to Bella’s past.
The other prime suspect is Carr Sullivan, the man who owns the ranch where the murders occurred. Carr was once one of the wealthiest businessmen in Dallas and has a shady past a mile long. But it appears he’s turned his life around. Can Bella trust him, or is he just trying to cover his tracks?
As Bella probes deeper into the case, threats on her own life convince her the killer is someone she knows. But it soon becomes clear he’s not working alone, and she’ll need to face the past she’s tried so desperately to forget in order to solve the case and prevent more murders. ISBN