VISIONS Newsletter - Sep-Oct, 2005 - Published Bi-Monthly
|A Family Reunion With Style
Thanks Again Detroit
In August Dianne and I had the opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of our Detroit
area family members as we attended my family’s 32nd annual reunion. What a
blessing it was to be in their company and experience what is so easily taken for
granted. Each year since 1974, when Cleveland’s Ford-Bryson Chapter
sponsored the first reunion, someone, somewhere, somehow, has decided that
maintaining and strengthening family ties is an important part of our lives. It
hasn’t always been easy, but it has always been fun and rewarding. This year,
we owe thanks to the collective effort of our “Detroit Area Family” that, as they
have so often done before, stepped up to the plate to “hit a home run” and keep
the family “in the game.”
Our family, separated by geography, by generations, and by aspirations, is
nevertheless united by love and respect. Today we live in a world that too often
values profit, power and greed above integrity, common courtesies, and often
above concern for human life. Our yearly expressions of both word and deed
are in contrast to this decline of moral and spiritual values.
Even though reunions are not given for the sake of competition, and each one
has been fun and rewarding in its own way, wanting to become better and better
drives us to build upon the previous reunions. With the 2006 Reunion
scheduled for Cleveland, the task and challenge is clear, and also near. The
Detroit Chapter’s planning and execution was as usual, simply outstanding!
There is no other way to describe the experience.
Prior to the reunion, there was some mumbling and muttering that the price
appeared high for what was being advertised. Fortunately, most family
members and friends wanted to get together badly enough, that most “took the
high road” and decided they were going to attend based upon how much they
cared about each other, and their faith that the good times would overcome any
reservations they might have. Their faith was rewarded in a variety of ways, as
the Detroit Chapter sponsored the events they promised (raffle, hospitality suite
and dinner dance with scholarship awards), and in addition threw in T-Shirts,
Tote Bags, a tour of Detroit and a “Out of this world” Fish Fry and Cookout.
Anyone that offers me three kinds of deep fried-to-perfection fish (and much,
much more) is my relative and friend for life.
An encouraging fact about this reunion is that young people who had not been
previously involved took control and sank their teeth into the obstacles like
hungry bulldogs loose in a butcher shop (am I preoccupied with food?).
Anyway, while youth and energy pushed and pulled, wisdom and experience
helped to guide. Those who had previously planned reunions helped to
encourage, steer and participate in many of the tasks required to plan and
execute a successful reunion.
Our families, and other families have within them the talent and tenacity to build
character, achieve personal and professional greatness, create relationships
and raise families that parents and grandparents would be proud of. We
encourage you to plan a reunion for your family for the coming year, or
participate in plans that might already be in existence. Your participation in
family reunions is an excellent way to honor the memory of parents,
grandparents and others. Our troubled world does not allow us the luxury of
putting these things off until tomorrow.
As I often share with audiences I speak to; “You are each artistically appealing,
beautifully bred, completely capable, divinely destined, extraordinarily endowed,
fairly fascinating and generously gifted.” If you are all of that by yourself (with
God’s blessing), think of what you can become as a part of your family.
|Detroit Chapter members
Nikita Thomas & Jordonna Collins
taking a well-deserved five-second "photo opt" break
To view more photos, PRESS HERE!