Family Reunion Vacation– A Genealogy

26 July 2015
Saints’ Name day of St. Anne and St. Joachim; parents of Mary, who was mother of Jesus

19 July PM – 26 July AM
Annual Meixner Family Reunion at Lakeby, Washington
13 People Ages 9-86 Years in attendance
Informal Sketch of the Family Tree below.

Family Tree 628x494Our family reunion vacations began in the summer of 1999, prompted by Joan’s acute observation that Christmas gatherings had a growing number of logistical obstacles. However, the most telling observation was we weren’t spending enough “family time.” We all had so many friends in Maryland that we made plans to see “so and so” and “who is that.”

Every year we have gathered like clockwork, not letting any obstacle (small or large) prevent us from spending such a brief time together. June 2007 family protraitNot even death, as demonstrated in July 2008, less than one month after Mike Navarra passed away. Even more remarkable was the December 2009 Christmas gathering–the substitute for summer 2010. You see, Mom came home in mid-December, 2009 for hospice care.

We gathered for a Christmas family reunion vacation for the first time in 11 years. Arduous for all to gather, we did it, though. Record– breaking snow storms in mid-December did not deter any of us in making sure Mom was home-cared for and Dad could receive a break from caregiving. Note there are more stories to tell about that time in our lives–you’ll have to check back in the future.

Mom passed away on January 12, 2010 ~ 6 am Eastern Standard Time. Much later that day tragedy struck Haiti–a devastating earthquake in which many died. Such an event is much more tragic than losing a loved one to cancer. My mom had lung cancer. My husband, Mike, suffered 14 months with pancreatic cancer. Initially,
my summers had been hard due to the following dates:

• June 20, 2008: he passed away– the first day of summer
• July 6th is his birthday, born 1950
• August 19, 2000: we married at St. Mary Magdalene

I’ll take cancer any day over an earthquake, heart attack or auto accident. You have time to say goodbye and address as best you can the things that have been left unsaid if you choose. Those days, those hours, you live in the present as much as possible.

Family Vacation Hike 792x444On our family vacations we attempt to be present with each other and live in the moment.

Anne Meixner
Today is My Saints name day.

Dear Reader, please share your comments and stories that are sparked by this piece. For instance: what do family gathering traditions mean to you? See Contribute for how you can share a story at The Engineers’ Daughter.

Have a Productive Day,
Anne Meixner

Additional Reading

Lung Cancer Alliance
Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Network

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Stephanie says:

    Speechless. My uncle died this week. I didn’t say goodbye.

    1. Anne says:

      Sadden by your loss. My uncle passed away in Feb and I last saw him about 1.5 years ago…. so know what you are going through.

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