Monday, November 15, 2010

The Fitzwater/Iser Gathering

Yesterday, on Sunday, November 14th...was the first time my mother's side of the family has gathered together in one place in over 28 years! We were invited by mail (and by my mom thru the phone) to meet at The Ranch Cafe in Raymore, MO, which is owned by my Aunt Michelle. Each family needed to bring two dishes, and the main course of Ham, Turkey, Stuffing, etc. would be provided.

Supposedly everyone and thier mother (literally) was here is who came:
  • My Grandma Anne (the host - my mom's mom)
  • My family (me, Patrick & the girls)
  • My mom, Jeff & Joseph
  • My Aunt Michelle, her boyfriend Mike - her three kids & their children (a total of 12 people)
  • My Uncle Mike, Aunt Deb & daughter Stephanie
  • My Uncle Damon (he is one year younger than me) & his dad, Bob
  • My Great Uncle Bud & his wife, Lori
  • My Great Aunt Janet (her husband, Dick, stayed home to hunt) and her granddaughter (Waylens daughter?)
  • My 2nd cousin, Ricky (Uncle Dick's son) & his wife Kelly, plus their two daughters (one is married with a daughter)

So surprisingly, there were alot of people that did come! But, there were a lot that did my Uncle Scott (his wife & their kids), my other Great Aunts/Uncles, thier children & their children and so on. For the most part, I think everyone got along...and I think my Gma Anne was happy that everyone who did come - came, brought food, & had a good time talking. The weird part was, noone really talked a whole lot - at least not to me & my family. I introduced myself & my family to some family members that I had never met (Uncle Bud) and to some who I haven't seen in years...but there were no announcements/speeches or anything like that. Everyone ate, talked briefly small talk - and then left.

Sadly, I did not take any pictures (crazy, right? I love taking pictures!)...due to time, my daughter running around & the pure craziness of it all. There were kids running around everywhere. I had to feed Arwen at some point. I was incredibly nervous having anyone hold her..and I didn't want Destin getting in trouble/hurt/etc.

I am glad that I went & that I got to see everyone...but I personally believe that this will probably never happen again for several reasons...our family is broken, and since it took almost 30 years for all of us to be in the same room at the same time - I don't think it will ever happen again. I know that my Gma would like for us to get together again, and grow up together sharing stories & having our kids play - but its just not going to happen. I don't want to seem witchy or stuck up - I just don't see that anyone would make an effort to get together again. Why would we? Noone sends Christmas cards, noone sends out a family letter, there is no family site...its just very sad. Noone really cares about one another like a family should.

I'm not sure how the rest of my family feels about this issue...but thats just the way it is I guess. When it comes to my father's side of the family - I think they still get together a couple of times a year. At Christmas was the only time I would see anyone from that side of the family, which would include my Grandma Reta (my dad's mom), his sister & her family, and then my Great Grandma Mary (my Gma Reta's mom) and then her children, their children and so on. Sadly, I don't really know them very well either. Each year we would gather at my Gma's house and have a guy/girl gift exchange - but noone really would make conversations (with me anyways) other than small talk. And to be honest, I know this sounds bad, but I can't even remember everyone's names & who belongs to who?! There are a lot of family members there & I guess everyone just thinks - we are family somehow or another.

Then, Patrick's family. His parents are also divorced & remarried, just as mine are. And both his parents come from big families - but again, we don't get together that often. When it comes to his family - I don't think its lack of anything, but time, distance, etc. Everyone is so busy with thier own lives, thier own families - that we don't just stop & take the time to see one another.

I would hate to think that as you get older, the love, time & devotion that you have to your extended family doesn't just go away, or does it? Every family is indeed very different - and mine is something that I am still learning about, learning who is in it, etc. I joined a couple of years ago, and started doing some research...because someday I'm sure Destin & Arwen will want to know who they are related to on both of our sides.

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