Family Connections

By Mark Hopper

My wife and I recently traveled to upstate New York to see Niagara Falls.  In addition, we drove across the state to visit some family members near Albany.  My wife was born in Long Island, NY, but moved west with her parents when she was a young girl. When her family moved to Arizona in the late 1950’s, they left behind extended family members like grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who remained near the east coast.

Over the years, there were phone calls and letters, but very little direct contact between the relatives in the east and relatives in the west. Some of the extended family attended a family wedding in Arizona in the 1970’s and there were a couple of visits by the Arizona clan to the east.  But, the contact was limited while parents were busy raising families in different parts of the country.

The internet and Facebook have helped to reconnect my wife with some of her east coast relatives.  They have been able to share pictures and update one another on their families. Our visit to Albany reunited my wife with a cousin that she had not seen on over 40 years.  It was a happy reunion.  In addition, another cousin drove up from Long Island and completely surprised my wife. They had a lot of catching up to do. Conversations included the death of parents, the marriages of children and the births of grandchildren.

One of the cousins had a photo album filled with old pictures.  This album belonged to their grandfather and included some photos that my wife had never seen before.  It was filled with memories and images that helped deepen her understanding of her heritage and extended family.

Hopefully, the cousins won’t wait another 40 years to re-connect with each other.  In fact, there is already talk of another reunion on the west coast next year. Are there some friends or relatives that you have not seen in a long time?  The years pass quickly.  The internet can help, but it takes time and effort to stay connected with people.

Let me encourage you to call or email a friend or family member this week.  There may be an old neighbor that would love to hear from you.  Don’t miss the opportunity to reach out and re-connect with someone soon.  They will be glad you did and you will too.

Pastor Mark Hopper

Efree church of Diamond Bar

3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd


Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM


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