Family tree -a genealogical chart for a given family
By BECKY LEBARON, Administrator, Heritage Village Retirement Campus
The phrase “family reunion” evokes different emotions for different people. I recently attended a family reunion. It’s the standard reunion where you have some attendees so excited to see other family members and others who are there because they feel an obligation. Some of us are just in the middle somewhere. I went, not wanting to, but feeling the obligation because a close family member was “in charge” of this reunion and I didn’t want to let her down. I heard several times, “It’s your family. How else are you going to get to know them if you don’t go?” Well, I do not like to say it but really, am I going to get to know them by seeing them once a year? I have to admit, that after attending this year, I did actually (gulp!) enjoy myself. I did see people I only see once a year, and it was nice to see them again and share our lives.
For various reasons, it is an on-going joke that I do not have the classic family tree. You know the one, the strong, tall trunk and the several heavy branches that lead into smaller branches that make up the family. The top branches are always getting additions, and the tree is getting bigger. No, mine is well...a vine-filled bush. My daughters often question how they are related to a family member but still looked confused when given the explanation.
While I was checking Webster’s Dictionary for the definition of “family tree,” I also checked Roget’s Thesaurus. Family is defined as household, forefathers, children, descendents, lineage, family tree, clan, tribe, kindred, group, association, classification. There it is again, the straight oak tree with the descendants growing from the top. My family tree seems to resemble the top portion of a tree or a vine-filled mess that is not easy to sort.
You know the saying, “you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family”. I do believe that in the official sense of the word, a family is comprised of your relatives; those to whom you can’t help to be related. But for many of us, our families are those around us that we want around us. Those people we choose to be with and have an important part of our life. Kindred, group, association are much better words to describe a family.
At Heritage Village Retirement Campus, we have a unique family with staff members and residents, and while it has changed over the years, it is still very special. We offer support, share in important events, share grief, laugh with one another but most importantly, we like each other and rely on each other. So, if you have a straight oak-tree type family tree, a vine-filled bush, or your family is a made up kindred group of friends. ENJOY!
Your family makes you who you are, and it is unique to you.
Becky LeBaron currently serves as the Administrator at Heritage Village Retirement Campus in Gerry, NY. In this role, she manages the day-to-day operations of the Campus and has administrative responsibilities. Becky and her husband, Brett, live in Sinclairville and have two children. Becky stays very active with her daughters and attends the Park United Methodist Church.
If you would like to learn more about Heritage Village Retirement Campus, please call Becky at 716-985-6830 or visit www.heritage1886.org.