Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Ultimate Family Reunion

I was checking out one of my daily reads, Booker Rising and I came across a post on How to Organize a Successful Family Reunion and it got me to thinking about one of my greatest dreams since I discovered my natural mother's and natural father's families.

Home of the yearly Fourth of July Party

About 10 years ago, my dad began hosting a yearly Fourth of July party for our extended family and friends in his back yard back in Omaha. Over the years it grew bigger and bigger and as it grew, it became a de facto Family Reunion. It wasn't too hard for a number of our relatives, who live mostly in the midwest, to make it to Omaha for a holiday weekend. In fact, as of a few years ago, even my uncle in California and some cousins from Texas and D.C. would even make it out for the yearly celebration.

However, as of two years ago, with my parents both in their upper 70's, the event was getting too big for my parents to handle and the decided to no longer host the party.

At one of the last "Johnson Family Fourth of July" that Laura, the kids, and I attended and before my parents decided they weren't going to have the annual event any more, I was talking with my mom about a big dream that I have- having a family reunion. But not just any family reunion. This one, I would plan, host, and invite ALL of my family.

That would include my family I grew up with- my parents, my sister, my 96 year old grandmother and her children, grandchildren, great grand children and great, great, grandchildren. Basically all the descendants of Frank and Helen Johnson, my adoptive father's parents, from his older sister and his two brothers on down.

But then, I would also want to have all the descendants of my natural mother's father, Thomas O'Connor. That would include my mother and five living brothers and sisters (one of my uncles passed away several years ago) and all their children and grandchildren- especially my two sisters Mei-Lee and Frances.

Finally I would have my father, his seven living brothers and sisters and all the other living relatives of my Grandfather Ogike. That would include my six brothers and sisters in Nigeria- Chibuzo, Gerald, Amara, Obianuju, Phyllis, and Nnadozie. If you included all my cousins, etc. That alone would be over 140 people.

As I have said before, it would be a logistical nightmare. Besides all of the people traveling and coming from basically all over the U.S. and world (visas would be just part of the problem) finding places for everyone to stay, feeding what would be probably over 300 people, getting people to and from places- WHEW! I would definitely need a great sponsor, an event planner, and a bigger grill.

I know that this is a dream that could probably never happen, but man, would THAT be something?!

It w0uld be an amazing thing if it could happen.

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