Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Family Tradition - Preserving Our Heritage

It's 1889. A new child is born to a young mother only 3 years in wedlock. She is not afraid. She knows what she must do. Carefully she places the birth certificate next to her marriage certificate in the family bible. She whispers thank you for my beautiful child. Turning the pages she enters a new transition in life. Many years ago, long before her vows were taken, she found guidance in the form of a book and family tradition.

The Bible she holds was passed on to her by her mother along with carefully thought out words of wisdom just for her daughter, to preparing her for the life ahead.  As she turns the pages and reads the Psalms and Proverbs she is reminded of the explanations given by mother has they baked, cooked sewed together.  As they made market or visited a sick friend or relative.  As they prayed for Divine support while holding fathers hand.  A course she now follows. A pattern she would pass on to the new generation she holds close to her bosom.

Here lies our joy, purpose and deepest affection. Here lies the true meaning of family tradition.  We preserve  our past, protect the present and pave the way for new life.

Today such traditions are still followed by like-minded family and friends. Who are they? Some are amateur genealogists, others are poets, some are artists and engineers. Many are crafts-persons, farmers and builders. Whatever their occupation, they are not much unlike us. They are traditionalists who have learned to encapsulate morsels of wisdom and pass on essential lessons to their progeny while celebrating each of life’s  transitions one precious moment at a time.

In a family of two or more there is always something to teach, celebrate and reward.  From the wedding day to conception. From pregnancy to baby shower.  From first tooth grown to first tooth pulled. From the first day of school to getting the first report card. We establish tradition to help our young see good for their hard work.

Other milestones worthy of celebration are learning to drive and getting a driver's license.  Getting that first job.  Advancing to college and graduation. From learning to dance to learning to date and stepping into courtship. From proposing marriage to announcing acceptance to all your family and friends.

This is the special meaning of family tradition. Remembering firsts and taking the time to reward and record each experience not only perserves good memories. It perserves our heritage.  Traditional celebrations also provide a way of showing that we love and value family and this most precious gift we call life.

There truly is no better way to catch-up, reminisce and celebrate achievements from one generation to the next than a traditional annual family reunion event.  Family reunions are one of the most meaningful, main-stay family traditions celebrated by large and small groups worldwide.  From traditional gatherings at the old homestead to more creative family reunion events, families are able to keep the union strong and provide continued support to one another.

That is why I wrote the Family Reunion Planner Guide and Keepsake book.  To give families a catalyst from which to bond,  A time capsule in which to preserve and rediscover. A seed to plant and a family tree to grow.