...celebrating 31 years!

REUNION INSTITUTE



What is a Mother?

- Katherine Nelson Davis

A mother is someone to shelter and guide us, to love us, whatever we do,
With a warm understanding and infinite patience, and wonderful gentleness, too.
How often a mother means swift reassurance, in soothing our small, childish fears,
How tenderly mothers watch over their children, and treasure them all through the years.
The heart of a mother is full of forgiveness, for any mistake, big or small,
And generous always in helping her family, whose needs she has placed above all.
A mother can utter a word of compassion, and make all our cares fall away,
She can brighten a home with the sound of her laughter, and make life delightful and gay.
A mother possesses incredible wisdom, and wonderful insight and skill-
In each human heart is that one special corner, which only a mother can fill!


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May is the month we celebrate Mother’s Day and the women who gave us life and/or helped raise us. This year we may not be able to celebrate as we’ve done in the past, but we’ll find unique ways to honor and/or make our moms feel special and loved.

Motherhood is full of all types of moms and mother/child relationships. And while most of us would want a mom like the one in the poem above, that’s not always the case. Truth is mom’s aren’t perfect. We have nine months (or so) to prepare for a significant and extreme, hands-on, full-time, life-long, 24/7 experience called motherhood. Most moms are up to the challenge. Some moms aren’t. Others waiver in and out of responsibility. We all need help to raise great kids, (and keep our sanity—especially during Covid).

It really does take a village to raise a child—and to help mom’s become the best they can be. Mother-figures, adoptive moms, stepmoms, grandmoms, aunts, cousins, siblings, friends, teachers, etc. help bridge gaps and expose us (mom and child alike) to different points of view, and ways of doing, being, and working together for the common good of motherhood. This May as we celebrate motherhood, let’s remember all the “moms” (biological or not) who have stepped-in to make us all better. And let’s be there for the mom’s who have survived their children, and the children whose mom’s are no longer here.

This month there’s plenty to celebrate and observe along with Mothers Day, including Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, Haitian Heritage Month, Jewish-American Heritage Month, Military Appreciation Month, Foster Care Month, Personal History Awareness Month, National Water Safety Month, Hurricane Preparedness Week, Brothers and Sisters Day and Stepmothers Day. This month’s FAMILY TIME holidays and observances will have you loving, laughing, praying, renewing, drawing, meditating, barbecuing, biking, reading, game playing, tap dancing, chicken dancing, pizza partying, strawberry picking, flower watering, and so much more. This month we share two REUNION TIPS—one new, the other a redo; another PRACTICAL FAMILY REUNION PLANNING suggestion; family wellness month tips for a HEALTHY FAMILY; and a WORTH REPEATING that’s all about Mom.

This month, as Covid restrictions are reduced, and vaccines are more widely available and administered, we feel stronger than ever that we’ll “soon” be able to safely spend time together as families, at reunions, good ole’ fashioned bar-b-ques at home, and family birthdays and celebrations. So let’s keep safe. Be well. Stay vigilant. Wear your masks. Wash your hands. Keep socially distanced. Whatever has kept you safe thus far…keep following that plan.


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NEW NOW:
- Practical Family Reunion Planning
- Family Time
- Reunion Tips of The Month
- Healthy Family: Celebrating Family Wellness Month
- Worth Repeating
 

LATER THIS MONTH come back for:
- Sticky Reunion Situation
- In Case You Missed It!


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May photos courtesy of Yahoo images.

REUNION TIP OF THE MONTH...Worth Repeating

May is National Photography Month, so why not create a “family photo album” that will grow and last for a long time.

As the pandemic continues to keep us apart from one another, take advantage of National Photography Month by creating a “Hello Family Page” on your family website, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Have family members place current photos as a way of saying hello, whenever they want…just because you’re family. And you can start by sharing Mother’s Day photos, past and present.

Our family members are growing older every day (especially the babies). Establishing a place where we can all see each other on an on-going basis may help us feel better connected. And it’s easy to do. No camera? Almost everyone has access to a cell phone camera. Take a photo. Share it on the designated location.

HEALTHY FAMILY: OBSERVING FAMILY WELLNESS MONTH

The affects of the coronavirus have changed how we live our daily lives. And with family being at the heart of who we all are, family wellness is a foremost thought.  May is Family Wellness Month, and in the past we introduced you to 40 Ways to Celebrate Family Wellness Month, a list created by College Nannies + Tutors to encourage all families to participate in the month-long celebration. Their thought was, “Wellness is an important component of keeping your family happy and healthy”.  The list includes “40 different ways you can increase your family’s emotional, physical and mental wellness”. And it’s still very relevant today. So we’re sharing the list again in hopes that it helps us all get back to being well—despite the separation, anxiety and uncertainty the current pandemic has caused.

Our motto: “Family Reunions are More Than Just a Picnic”.

REUNION TIP OF THE MONTH

A MOTHER'S LOVE


Of all the special joys in life,
The big ones and the small,
A mother’s love and tenderness
Is the greatest of them all.
Here’s wishing you a Mother’s Day
That’s filled with every pleasure,
And a future that’s as happy
As the memories you treasure!


---Author Unknown

May 2021

STICKY REUNION SITUATION...

Planning for a future reunion is getting sticky and personal. Some of our family members are getting the vaccine. Others are not. How can we plan for a safe reunion when we don’t know who did or did not get vaccinated? Should we only invite those who have received it?

All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother.   ~ Unknown

Nothing is really lost until your mom can’t find it.  ~ Unknown

Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.  ~ Unknown

Moms are like buttons—they hold everything together.  ~ Unknown

Mothers are like glue. Even when you can’t see them, they’re still holding the family together.  ~ Susan Gale

It’s not easy being a mother. If it were, fathers would do it.  ~ The Golden Girls

To the world you are a mother, but to your family you are the world.  ~ Unknown

Mothers, I believe, intoxicate us. We idolize them and take them for granted. We hate them and blame them and exalt them more thoroughly than anyone else in our lives. We sift through the evidence of their love, reassure ourselves of their affection and its biological genesis. We can steal and lie and leave and they will love us. ~ Megan Mayhew Bergman

I will look after you and I will look after anybody you say needs to be looked after, any way you say. I am here. I brought my whole self to you. I am your mother.  ~ Maya Angelou

FAMILY TIME


May’s holidays and observances will have you loving, laughing, praying, renewing, drawing, meditating, barbecuing, biking, reading, game playing, tap dancing, chicken dancing, pizza partying, strawberry picking, flower watering, dating your mate, loving your mom, bro, sis…and so much more.  With nearly 100 listed observances, and Spring’s welcoming warm weather, it’s time to have great fun with the family.

Copyright 2014 - 2021. Family Reunion Institute. All rights reserved.

Last year, because of the separation the coronavirus created, we suggested a virtual Mother’s Day Tea—and we’re suggesting the same again this year. Select a date, time and duration. Invite all the moms. You can ask them to dress-up (or not); make it a hat event (or not)—just make it fun, informative and helpful. Prepare a list of topics and questions to get (and keep) the conversation going. The moms should prepare their tea and join in the fun. You can talk about how it’s been during the pandemic, issues that you’ve resolved or need suggestions for working out,  and how motherhood has changed throughout the decades. Make sure everybody who participates is engaging in the conversation. And don’t worry about grandma or auntie who may not have a computer or cellphone because most of the virtual video communications (like ZOOM) have options to join by landline (house phones).


Do a test-run ahead of time if needed, and the end result will be an enjoyable tea with family moms of all generations, bonding and learning more about one another, and the family.

PLANNING A FAMILY REUNION?  Click below for tips.

GRANDMA


While we honor all our mothers
with words of love and praise.
While we tell about their goodness
and their kind and loving ways.
We should also think of Grandma,
she’s a mother too, you see...
For she mothered my dear mother
as my mother mothers me.


---Author Unknown

WORTH REPEATING

We believe reunions have the power to nourish and strengthen families of all races and ethnicities. Reunions can encourage healthy extended family relationships, provide a sense of belonging, restore family pride, nurture and respect all generations, and impart wisdom, knowledge and a shared purpose. Our goal is to strengthen, inspire and support family reunion planning; share useful information and resources; and advocate for the teaching of family and reunion history, values and experiences.

PRACTICAL REUNION PLANNING

When planning your family reunion around a holiday, be sure to check for festive activities and events taking place in and around the reunion location. Prior to Covid, many cities held free or low cost events during the holidays that can be added to your reunion agenda. This means more activities, more fun for family members, and less planning time needed by the committee. As Covid restrictions begin to wane, and you begin planning for a future in-person reunion, consider what’s happening around you to see if it could add value to your family without increasing your costs.