Friday, May 21, 2010

How family history becomes FAMILY HISTORY

It is the small things that happen that remain in the mind and in the heart that, without our realizing, become family history. Not that the importance of writing it down hasn't been hammered into my head by my daughter, whose Remembering Site is one of the things that she does for a living. It is what struck me, just after Mother's day, and I felt compelled to tell the story to my nieces, on Bob's side of the family.

The California Greenes visited often; the children alone, Bob's brother and wife--make that wives--Bob's brother and mother together. My side of the family, the Harmons, knew the Greene side but they didn't have many shared memories.

And this is the FAMILY HISTORY that caused me to smile, as it grew, in my mind, from lower case to upper.

For years, on Mother's Day, my sister-in-law and brother hosted a delicious picnic, serving among other things, veal sausage on the grill, sliced , speared by a toothpick, as an hors d'oeuvre. When Bob's mother moved to Columbus, she was invited to the party and she loved those veal sausages. As the years went by, they began to be called Grandma Ethel's sausages.

Grandma Ethel has been gone more than twenty years , Bob, twelve. And my brother Al a year ago January. Sue now lives in a lovely condo, so this year, Sue and Al's youngest daughter hosted the event. I couldn't make it, but D.G. did, and she told me that as the appetizer was taken off the grill, someone said, "Oh, Grandma Ethel's sausages."

How happy it would have made Bob to know his mother is in the collective memory of my side of the family.  I passed the story along to Bob's brother's daughters, for they, too, should share this really nice piece of family history.

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