"Every time a person dies, it is like a library has burned down."

This old African saying helps us to treasure the reunions of family members and is a reminder to gather their stories.  Gatherings of relatives, friends and associates is a time to strengthen the bonds of love, understanding and support.  This connection with others who have similar backgrounds, futures or present lives is certainly worth  celebrating and the inconvenience and cost of travel that is involved..

It may have been years since you have seen members of your family and yet you can fall back into conversation easily by asking about the latest news of those you know in common. Even if you are a bit uncomfortable at first, stories always flow around the food table.

Help Your Young Children Feel Comfortable 

Let your children create "My family and Friends" picture book, so they will be more acquainted and comfortable with relatives.  They can look at it on the way to the family reunion and you can tell family stories to entertain them beforehand.  

Encourage them to ask questions or interview family members and collect the oral histories on a miniature tape recorder.  Once the tape is done, you may want to transcribe it and send copies to other family members to keep the connection of the family reunion going.

Young Children Learn Through Experience

Involve them in the family gatherings, by writing postcards, placing phone calls or connecting via a families reunion Face book page.

For more ideas, please go to the Association of Personal Historian site.

Have fun and remember to get the recipes for the Deviled Eggs from Aunt Mary.


Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and keynote speaker
Family Reunions, Great Time For Gathering Stories