Two of our family’s more senior members – my mother, Elsie, and mother-in-law Rose Hayes – celebrate birthdays in August and my parents marked their 65th wedding anniversary earlier this month with a family gathering in my hometown of Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Our youngest son, Bret, who also has an August birthday, has provided our family with two more August dates to celebrate.
First came word on Aug. 1 that Bret had passed his thesis defense for his doctorate in astrophysics at Penn State. Tomorrow Bret marries Claudia Vilato. That’s their picture in the corner of this post.
Besides being the first member of our family to become a Dr., Bret will become the first to work overseas when he begins a three-year astronomy fellowship at the University of Durham in England next month.
Marriage is such an exciting time for a family. Adding a new branch to a family tree holds great promise for strengthening the entire tree. The sharing and merging of two lives whose roots come from diverse backgrounds can be an enriching experience.
Bret was born and raised in Iowa; Claudia was raised in Miami, Florida, the daughter of Cuban immigrants. They met at Penn State and will begin married life together in an English college town. Sounds good to me.
Their wedding will give our family a rare opportunity to convene for a joyous occasion. This includes our oldest son, Aaron, who made another solid contribution to our family tree when he married Eiko Mitani, a native of Japan, in 2003.
Think of these connections as you view your own family tree. Rather than viewing them as mere lines on a page, consider that each union brought together totally different families. Consider, too, the part each played in creating the roots of your own family tree.