Wednesday, April 22, 2009

“If you don't know your family's history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree.”

-- Michael Crichton

Dad & Great-Grandma on her 101st Bday
Dad & Grandma Ebert, June 2002

The most powerful woman I've ever met is the tiny, softly wrinkled old woman in this photo.

It was taken on her 101st birthday.

Anna Ebert was my great-Grandmother. When she celebrated her 100th birthday in June of 2001, hundreds of family members came from all over the country to southwest Wisconsin to celebrate.

We're one of those rare extended families that know each other - and like each other.

One of my second cousins teaches at the school two blocks down the street from my house. I'm friends on Facebook and MySpace with several third cousins. If I were to randomly run into a great-Aunt or -Uncle on the street or in the grocery store, they'd know me by name and give me a hug. (And I'm sure that Uncle Harv would probably still tease me and threaten to cut off my tongue...long story.)

It was the sheer number of those well-known relatives that really struck me, back on that hot summer day seven years ago. Doctors, farmers, teachers, parents...five generations of God-fearing, slightly rowdy and fun-loving individuals...were all there simply because she had lived.

Even today when I begin to question myself as a parent, and wonder if I'm really making a difference in the lives of my children I try and stop and remember Grandma Ebert. Such a small person made such a big impact on all of our lives.

If only I'm so lucky as to live another seventy years to see what kind of impact I might make.

For more photo memories, check out Marcy, Jen and Carrie's places!
And check out today's Mommy Confessional - you could win a prize for your "Mommy fail"!

23 comments:

Muthering Heights said...

It's amazing that you all keep in touch so well!

dawn224 said...

and I just know she has her purse somewhere just out of that shot :)

were we talking about your genealogy at blissdom or am i making that up?

maggie said...

That's just so awesome. I'm not really even in touch with my first cousins.

Marcy - The Glamorous Life! said...

What a teasured photo and a wonderful story to go along with it.

You are lucky in so many ways.

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Wow, that's so cool, Colleen!

Bree Shaw said...

that is so amazing! great perspective on life. it is so great that you know so many of your extended family.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Aw, that is so cool. And sweet. And I hope you show her what you wrote because I bet she doesn't think people give her credit for holding the clan together with fibers so strong.

Tara R. said...

Awesome photo. That's great, that your family is so close. I miss that. My family is spread out so far that we hardly ever all get together any more. You're very lucky to have that closeness.

I am Harriet said...

You are very blessed.

Upstatemomof3 said...

Hubby's grandma is very much like that. She is only 84 (only 84 what a funny statement) but one I day she will be kicking it at 100 and we will all be partying I am sure. :)

Kelly said...

What a wonderful family! If only everyone could experiences that. Some of us are just lucky.

The Mom Jen said...

She's beautiful and can you imagine living to 100 years old or older?! Love your title quote!!

Marni's Organized Mess said...

Aw... I am crying. :)

Bahama Shores Mama said...

What a beautiful "fro post! I want to be adopted!

Karen MEG said...

What a wonderful photo and lovely post. That is great that you have so much family that you're in contact with, just amazing...

Kim H. said...

Grandma Ebert is just adorable. Wow 101! That's awesome! Great post Colleen -- thanks for sharing. You are truly blessed to have so many wonderful extended family members!

Miko's Girl said...

Thanks for sharing the picture of your grandmother and your family legacy. My family still gets together once a year for a reunion. Last year, I went to a Women's Conference with my Great Aunt, second and third cousins. It's important to know the stories of where you come from.

WackyMummy said...

Beautiful picture and testament to a life. :) (Came by via Candid Carrie.)

cabadov said...

WOW, 101, that's amazing. I hope I'm so lucky. I've never really been that close to my family, but I'm working to change that.
Carrie Anne

Karen said...

That is an awesome photo and post..

A lovely tribute to your Great-Grandma and your family..

Mrs4444 said...

That's awesome. My mom's side of the family is huge, too. I have about 70 of them on my Facebook page right now. You are blessed.

CoffeeJitters.Net (Judy Haley) said...

that is so cool that you have such a connection with your extended family

Elaine A. said...

What an amazing family you have! She sounds like a wonderful woman.