My Family Affair

Keitt|Sapp|Shumake|McRae|McMillian|Clark|Ryal - All from Georgia

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“Over the course of the millennia, all these ancestors in your tree, generation upon generation, have come down to this moment in time—to give birth to you. There has never been, nor will ever be, another like you. You have been given a tremendous responsibility. You carry the hopes and dreams of all those who have gone before. Hopes and dreams for a better world. What will you do with your time on this Earth? How will you contribute to the ongoing story of humankind?” ~ Laurence Overmire

Carrying on Our Legacy

Posted by TonyaKeittKalule

My grandmother's funeral was Saturday, October 11, 2008 and it was not an extremely sad occasion. My dad, who was her caretaker for the past seven years, took it pretty hard. I am told that the death of one's mother is not something you ever get over, but some how, you just learn to live with it.

We will all miss her, she was such a big part of our lives, but if she would have continued to live we would have had to watch her suffer and none of us wanted that.

My grandmother succeeded in bringing us all together once again. She has ten grandchildren and fifteen great- grandchildren, and we were pretty scattered and had begun to live life very independent of one another. We all have families of our own now and life itself has a way of spreading a family apart, but there has also been some hostility among the siblings that had trickled down to the grandchildren. The great-grands just grew up hearing the stories from their parents and not fortunate enough to live in close proximity to the others to get to know there family for themselves. We grandchildren had that luxury, therefore when we come together, in spite of what has gone on before, we have a great time together and it appears as though time stands still, and that time we were apart is bridged together by the love and respect we have for each other.

We are all descendants of two entrepreneurial grandparents, this same blood runs through each of us. We have more in common than not, and for no other reason, we will bridge this gap between us. We will not let our grandmother's death be the end of our connection to each other, our connection is blood and that will never change.

My grandmother always had family dinners and cook-outs, and as the family grew larger, she even purchased a piece of land in a recreational area in Richmond Hill, Ga. where there was a swimming pool, lakes for fishing, baseball diamond, and lots of wild life. She built a brick barbecue grill, a large screened gazebo, and even put an air conditioned trailer on the lot so we would all be comfortable in having these large cookouts, and family gatherings.

Fourth of July was our largest get together and also the birthday of her second oldest grandson, Michael. We would have ribs, a low country boil, and lots of other food, and my Aunt Ilee's favorite Ambrosia Salad, which was Michael's favorite.

The next largest dinner would be New Years Day at Granny's house when she would make the best macaroni and cheese ever. We have not had either of these gatherings in over seven years, therefore we are way past due. So I am hoping that we all would agree to get together at least every two years and have a great weekend together, whether it is a cruise, a road trip or whatever, just be together and reconnect and most importantly stay connected.

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