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Mark Angelo Askew is the author of "Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Guide Workbook and Keepsake" and the founder and director of the Family Reunion Planning Group that established November as Annual Family Reunion Planning Month.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Book of Their Lives

My wife Brenda and her long time friend Jackie set out to spend some much needed downtime together in a very constructive and creative way two weeks ago. This particular Saturday afternoon rendezvou is more than just a casual spin about a local shopping district. An unspoken mission has been undertaken to encapsulate almost 40 years of friendship in preparation for a new challenge that lie ahead.

They visited a small ceramics and pottery shop. Glazed to Perfection. I knew this as I drove her there to pick up a completed work of art. The little shop situated on a strip of stores and shops was easy to spot with it's 3D ivory and fuchsia sign board. She quickly leaps out of the car with a briskness I had not seen in quite some time.

With equal pace she was back in the car carefully grasping a brown bag. With a look I can only describe as sheer girly glee with a hint of pride and purpose Brenda carefully removes the contents of the bag one item at a time. A lovely work of art.

In her palm she held a hand-painted and glazed ceramic cup and saucer. The set had an elegant leaf motif impression on the base of the cup and the same encircling the saucer accented with a green center. Brenda decided to paint the set a soft early evening blue with green highlights on the leaf motif wrapped around the base of the cup.

It was the ideal activity on that sunny Saturday afternoon for two long time friends who've been together since their youth. The perfect past-time to kick back and catch up with the comings and goings of old friends and family while creating a tangible memento of a chapter that will have to soon come to a close.

Brenda and Jackie's friendship spans a lifetime. It is not one that is based on mutual ambitions, achievements, class distinctions or economic advantage. It was not mere acquaintance based on mutual admiration for someone or something they both idolized.  It survived many tests and life altering setbacks because it was and is based on something truer than most are. And as it goes with friendships that mature over time, these two once young and silly girls, grew up and gained more priceless experience and wisdom than their own colleagues and acquaintances. And this they put to good use to reassure and bolster one another during the tough times.

I must admit that in their own way their friendship has added stability, color and a certain constant sustainable element to their lives and that of their families.

Their carefully scheduled engagements became a time to exhale. A reason to put it all on hold. To laugh a little and sigh a little. To even tear up a little. To qualify and quantify the decisions made and then after making sense of it all finally to see the need to get a firmer hold on what they have.

This day holds special significance for these two ageless girls. Soon Jackie will pack her bags and pile her tangibles that represent a half century of life inside a moving van. She will say goodbye to a life she devoted herself to three decades ago. She will travel a whole states distance  away from her friend in order to settle down once and for all with her aging parents. Another test of the resilience of Brenda and Jackie's friendship? Not so much. Despite the many miles that will lie between them this they both know... They will always remain connected.

There comes a moment when an awareness hits two individuals. It is when they become fully cognizant of the fact that they are no longer two separate individuals anymore. A realization of reciprocity. They are life long loyal companions with a symbioses in their nature that manifests itself with a phone call every few months or a card bought weeks ago, written weeks thereafter and finally put in the mail months later.

No matter how long it takes to connect again, that one moment will only deepen their resolve to connect again and again to meld their bond. There will be another sunny Saturday afternoon creating a memory, a memento and uniting their kindred spirit. A glass of wine, a cup of mocha, a dash of cinnamon on a pastry sweet. They'll sit cozy in their chairs and read together another page from their history, and then another, until unbeknownst to themselves they have written a new chapter in the book of their lives.

From your husband to the two of you. Here's to your true friendship, my dearest Brenda and Jackie.

A Book of Our Lives
It has been described as a book of our lives. The Family Reunion Planner is just that. Not only does it contain genealogy worksheets but it also is designed as a keepsake memento and heirloom.

In addition to the personalized event planning tutorial it contains a signature of ownership page,  poetic excerpts by Mark Askew,  and recipe compiler and a reunion planners journal. Set your course and take a remarkable journey writing the book of your life with the Family Reunion Planner Guide Book and Keepsake

Family Fun Weekend Projects
If your family reunion is still weeks away now is the time to spice it up, add meaning to it. Get together with a close family member and friend. Pour a cup of tea and start on your next weekend family reunion project using this quicklist.

Keepsake Memory Book
Download a family reunion keepsake memory booklet using Fimark's Family Reunion Booklet Maker. Go to to see the possibilities 

Print and Frame Family Reunion Poems
Download print and frame inspiring and beautifully crafted family reunion poems for keepsake gifts. To get inspired get Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app click on the link on this blog page or access the profiles page.

Happy Family Reunion Planning!
Mark and Brenda

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