Yesterday I went to one of my family reunions. I had debated off and on about going at all. Some of these people I knew not at all….and others not since childhood or just from facebook. The Rogers history is known for high emotion and equal drama. We break rules instead of making them. These are not the people you want to “mess” with, a threat to one is a threat to all. It’s how our earliest branches survived in a white world and its how they taught the younger generations to survive, even if they could now “pass” for white. We don’t “pass” . Whatever else we are, we are 100% Cherokee. It’s the blood in our souls.
I enjoyed myself immensely. No one thinks that they come from a normal family, I was quite surprised to see how normal our family actually is because beyond thinking, I’ve always known my family was not normal. Knowing is quite different than thinking. Our family has experienced events movies are made from, but we circle the wagons and no movies are made of us. Our story is not for profit. When “normal” families are faced with tragedies and chasms of thought, they often divide completely and no more is known beyond that. It is this very common occurrence that makes genealogy so fascinating. Its not so in our family, we fall back, but as yesterday’s reunion testifies….we fall together again.
Our reunion was exactly what the word “reunion” means. A family that was once separated reunified. I interacted with people that I had not seen since my very early childhood and that was a long time ago. I talked at length with cousins I knew only on facebook but mostly I simply observed. We are the people of our bloodline. We don’t look much alike anymore. I did note that our eyes despite the colors ranging from green to darkest brown were similar. Laugh lines, intense, generally deep set and round, but it was the expression in them that I found most similar. Open hearts, curiosity and a certain intelligence and awareness that one doesn’t gain from books or other education.
I used to envy people born with silver spoons but the truth is silver spoons tarnish....My family is stainless steel. Amazingly strong and nothing we do or say leaves a single mark on the love between us.
Unconditional...nope...not at all. Nothing is unconditional...this is reconditional.... because when I break ....they fix me.
An obvious similarity was our gift of gab and the turn of a phrase. People often tell me I am gifted with words, maybe not so much in blogging as in story telling or poetry, but it’s a compliment that I hold dear to my heart when received. I’ve always known where it came from, my grandfather was quite adept at relating a tale, he could make a stranger a friend in a matter of minutes – he was so good at it! I am not special or set apart in this group of my people. It’s a genetic predisposition, as much as our round eyes and the slight orangey tint that graces even palest skin in our tribe. No one there thought I talked a lot. In fact, some talked more. We finished each other’s sentences and we often sparked new thoughts from each others. I wondered if I was the only one who noticed, it seemed so commonplace that one would know the direction the others thoughts were taking so well that one could finish the thought for them.
Some people were missed, one of my children couldn’t come because of time and distance and another is just too busy right now. I’d hoped to see some cousins who live far away, but again time and distance were factors. For a little while I thought of my Grandpa and his siblings. They would have loved this gathering of our clans. And I pondered on Joel and Sarah. I wondered what they would have thought and I hoped the founders of our family were smiling.
These were my Cherokee grandfather’s kin and generations of endurance and force of will were evident. We are stronger together. I once wrote the words above (in bold) about my immediate family.
It bears repeating on larger scale. We are steel. Even stronger where we came apart and are welded back together.