Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life! – Albert Einstein
This time last year I re-posted content with stories centering on my maternal grandfather’s branch of the family tree. Then I realized that during that same time frame, I had actually been in contact with parts of my grandfather’s side of the family from Idaho to Kansas!
Extended Family Near And Far
I had a trip to the Boise area to attend a Mission Aviation Fellowship advocate summit, so I contacted a second cousin who lives there. He is the grandson of my grandfather Rightmeier’s brother, Leonard.
We first met at the Rightmeier reunion in 2004 in Jewell, Kansas. He and his sons came to see where it all started. They still talk about fishing in Cousin Roger’s pond.
I got to see his new home and then we motorcycled across the countryside near Boise to where my meeting was being held in Nampa.
Back in Kansas a week later, a few of my grandfather’s clan had arranged to gather on Father’s Day in Salina, Kansas. The last of my grandfather’s generation passed on last year. so, this was an opportunity for the next generations to connect. It was a good time doing what the Rightmeier’s do best: tell stories. We laughed until our sides hurt!
Masters Of Storytelling
This has always been a storytelling bunch, especially the men. Not gossip or tale bearing but funny things that happened. Adventures that could have gone bad but usually did not. Most included life lessons learned the hard way.
There is always much detail in these storytelling times. Pictures of landscapes emerge in living color in one’s mind as you listened. Each contained history, geography and moral lesson in each one. I cherish these.
In fact, were it not for these storytelling sessions throughout my childhood, the Rightmeier family history would lack the depth it has. It is those stories along with some research from which I draw the bits to write.
I never expected to be a scribe in the family but there is something about putting these stories into written word, that gives a sense of lives being honored and preserved.
Storytelling Connects Us
We are meant to be connected, not just to those among us today but to those who reside in history. It is from that place in history which we can move forward. Should there be ugly stuff in that history endeavoring to act as weights, process, forgive and put it into proper perspective.
When one does not know one’s history and deal with it, we tend to flounder. We become stuck. Once processed, any weight conspiring to hold us back falls off becoming stones in a pathway on which to continue our journey.
Personally, it is a relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ, the One who knows the end from the beginning, and is more aware than I am of what that all means, that gives me courage to process and move on. And not just move on to move on, but do so in joy and hope.
As you spend time with family this summer, endeavor to engage in storytelling of those who have gone before. Be kind, but real. Relive the fun times. Should you bump into a place of pain, awkwardness or disappointment, let it go and choose love!
What summer adventures are you planning? Be safe! Be Blessed! Let me know where you are off to in the comments below.