Area attractions were a draw for the reunion in Kissimmee-St. Cloud, Florida. Special generational only gatherings are highlights; on Friday younger generations met at Water Mania for a picnic and swimming; Friday evening Cecil and Grace’s children met for pizza; Saturday evening Cecil and Grace’s grandchildren had their own party. Picnics and a worship service on Sunday drew everyone together.
Before the reunion everyone was asked to write something for Cecil and Grace. Tributes, all placed in a special album, included poems, recollections, special memories, love notes and pictures from small children.
Haeberlins reflect on the joys of family and memories from past reunions.
A family logo was created for a flag raised at reunions.
At one reunion each family wore t-shirts of a different color with at least five generations of descendants listed on the back.
For another Cecil and Grace selected prizes from their treasures for a family trivia contest.
Before one reunion, names were drawn among the children’s generation with instructions to bring “an item that was a family keepsake.” A grandmother, for instance, gave a brother who collected plates another to add to his collection. Someone else fashioned an angel from a handkerchief.
At another reunion everyone received a three-inch heart ornament cut from wood taken from their grandparents’ house in Kentucky when it was torn down.
One memorable reunion held in Kentucky included a trek to family places (where Cecil and Grace met, dated and where Cecil proposed). Being at these places as well as at a family cemetery generated special memories and stories they’d never heard before.
While attending family reunions creates a hardship and sacrifice for some members Haeberlin family members would not miss one for the world!
Reported by Vonda Haeberlin Ivester, St. Cloud, FL