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S: Heitke Reunion

BC: Only the Beginning! | Viv Houk 2011

FC: Memories

1: Our first meal together

2: People are arriving

3: Great family | symbol

4: The tour begins

5: Both history and beauty

6: Ice Breaker Night

7: S'mores and More

8: Historical Tour

10: The tour continues

11: Oliver Row

12: Waterfront Activity

13: Good for body and soul

14: Generation Span

15: Time to relax

16: Random Fun

17: Sunday morning

18: Happy Birthday Time!

19: Guests arrived

22: Family Groupings | Smile!

23: Final climb and swing

24: Reunion Reflections Larry Houk It's Tuesday morning, and I am back at work. I know that the same is true for the majority of you, also. Children are back in school, whether home school, public school, or private school. For many, it is a return to a hectic life. A life of trying to balance personal needs, family needs and financial needs. As a consequence, there is little time to reflect on our Heitke reunion experiences. For whatever reason, however, I cannot get back into work mode without taking some time to reflect. What follows, are my personal reflections on our reunion I learned that I have been blessed with a wonderful heritage from both the Heitke and the Houk sides of the family. I learned that I have cousins, cousins once removed, and cousins twice removed that I have rarely seen, and in most cases, never met. And, with these cousins come spouses who have added a rich new layer to the mix. In many ways, we arrived as strangers except to our own limited families, but we left understanding that we are a part of a much larger family. We have a family heritage worthy of celebrating.

25: family. We have a family heritage worthy of celebrating. I learned that an advanced education is not a necessary prerequisite to wisdom. On the contrary, words of wisdom can be, and were, spoken and were there for any who chose to listen irrespective of the source. At the same time, I learned that education is a shared value and an important part of our Heitke heritage. I learned that my ability to love is limitless. In a matter of just a few short days, I came to truly love relatives, their spouses and children that I hadn't even known days earlier. I suspect that many of you learned the same thing. The quilt in the dining room was a constant reminder of what happens when different lives and experiences are stitched together. Something beautiful can emerge from scraps, including the scraps of our individual lives. I learned that we, as a family, are articulate. We are able to express our thoughts and feelings with clarity. More importantly, we were able to go beyond the surface of "who

26: importantly, we were able to go beyond the surface of "who are you and what do you do" to a level of "in depth" sharing I would never have considered possible. Thank you to all of you who shared your lives with me. This was a totally unexpected gift, in the words of Paul, "over and above all that I could ever have asked for." (Eph. 3:20) I learned that there is a bond among us that begins with blood ties, but only begins there. We share a rich common religious heritage. Through multiple generations, we have continued to worship the same God, reverence the same Bible, and share all of the common beliefs set forth in the Apostle's Creed. While our choices of denomination or places of worship are defined by our individual needs, those denominational choices do nothing to diminish our shared beliefs. On the contrary, they only add richness to the tapestry of our beliefs. I grieve for those who because of timing, mileage, or expense, were unable to participate in the reunion experience, including my two children. Each one would have added another voice, another square to our family quilt

27: another square to our family quilt. At the same time, I am grateful for all who set aside other plans in order to participate in the reunion. And beyond mere participation, share themselves and their families. I learned that it takes more than a few hours to really get to know one another. Seeing one another at weddings and funerals is not enough. I felt a common consensus that this joyous experience needs to be repeated at least bi-annually. While I do not know who will spearhead such an event, I believe that the momentum exists to make certain that it happens again. Finally, I feel a tremendous debt of gratitude to our aunt Pearl who, through her own foresight, and at her own expense, made this reunion possible. "Thank you" alone seems totally inadequate. The fact of the matter is this: We have received a gift that cannot be taken from us by time or distance. We are her family, and as such, will have many opportunities to express our gratitude in large ways and small by our actions in the days to come

28: in the days to come. Thank you to all of you who made this experience so much more than I expected. I am missing you all today, but while I am not seeing you face-to-face, as I type these words I am seeing you in my mind's memory. You are as present to me, and as real to me today as you were over the weekend. Since we cannot see each other face-to-face on a regular basis, I hope that we can use the virtual world to stay in contact. But more than that, I hope that we can share life together, rejoicing with those who rejoice, and weeping with those who weep. "Carry one another's burden, and thus fulfill the law of Christ." Gal. 6:2 (Revised Berkeley Version).

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  • By: Vivian H.
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  • Title: Blank Canvas (Copy)
  • Memories Heitke Reunion 2011
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  • Published: over 8 years ago