Family Reunion: I am part of a large family

The August long weekend was spent with my family at a family reunion. Fact: I am part of a large family.


Source: Jonathan Brower (my cousin)

The whole weekend I had the song “I Am Part of a Large Family” by the Great Lake Swimmers stuck in my head! I especially love the part of the song where he sings “that’s enough for me.” All weekend I felt so grateful that over 100 people I was related to were gathered to celebrate our shared past and that was enough for me. I was content, happy, and grateful.

Fun family facts:
1.) My ‘family’ uses several different variations on the original Brouwer-Berkhoven.

2.) When first crossing the Atlantic, my family settled in New Amsterdam. So at one point, my family owned part of Manhattan!

3.) Some form of the family has been trying to muster up funds for about 200-ish years to bring a lawsuit against Trinity Church in Manhattan in hopes of getting the land back or else the money from the land.

3.) I can have my DNA tested to see if I am indeed a member of Adam Brouwer-Berkhoven’s family. Strange.

4.) Edna May Brower was Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s first wife and even has a book written about her life.

5.) Although I can neither confirm nor deny, apparently at some point in the massive family tree there is a link to Humphrey Bogart.

These are interesting facts, yet what I love about my ‘family’ is that every three years we come together and just hang out and talk about family. Mostly it is family from Western Canada, yet every once in a while relatives will show up from California or other parts of the USA. Even family from England shows up!

Things I love about my family:
1.) I found out that my Mom’s cousin’s children (my second cousins??) live a neighourhood away from me.

2.) My ‘immediate’ family (my Grandpa’s children, grand-children, and great-grand-children) all get along.

3.) We take a “Cousin Photo” every time my ‘immediate’ family gets together. There are always two shots: from oldest to youngest and then from tallest to shortest. We are all adults. We still do this.

4.) Every reunion three things happen: 1.) My Great Aunts sing through tea pots; 2.) We have an auction to raise money for the next reunion (some things show up every year, like the monkey); 3.) We embark on a history tour of the area holding the reunion.
Source: Jonathan Brower

5.) Even though I don’t see my cousins and aunts and uncles very often, our time together is always full of joy and laughter, never judgement or the silent treatment.

These thoughts bring me back to the Great Lake Swimmer: “I am part of a large family/ And that’s enough for me.”

“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” (George Bernard Shaw)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)


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