Friday, April 03, 2009

Shepard Family Update, April 3, 2009

The family - that dear octopusfrom whose tentacleswe never quite escape,nor, in our inmost hearts,ever quite wish to.
-- Dodie Smith

Dear Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from the mountains of Northern California on this first Friday of April! Cindy and I are enjoying a few days away from the city, taking care of some business, and enjoying the poppies that are springing up all over the state.

What is it about family that leads one to describe it as "a dear octopus whose tentacles we never quite escape... nor ever quite wish to"? One obvious answer is that our family are people with whom we have shared life, people who have meant so much to us through the years, people with whom we have laughed and cried, who have supported us or challenged us, who have brought us great joy and satisfaction, and sometimes disappointment.

But there is something else. Our family is generally that small community who ushered us into this world, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. They are literally where we originated. The impact of one's "family of origin" is difficult to overestimate. The family we each experienced as a child has a major impact on the values we affirm, the relationships we make, the faith we have or do not have, and the way we relate to the world. The lessons we learned about life as a child -- for good or for bad -- have a way of remaining with us as long as we live. As we develop through the years our values and our inner makeup grow and change to one degree or another. Yet those earliest experiences remain the bedrock upon which the rest of our life is built, and are the platform from which all change begins.

Our family of origin includes not only our parents and other parental figures, but to a lesser degree (but still a significant degree) our extended families, including parent's parents, and their parents, and so on. Is it any wonder that family study and research is such a fascinating thing? When we find out about our family we are finding out about ourselves.

Happy Birthday today to our son Nathan Shepard of San Francisco, California! Nathan works for Wells Fargo Bank as a Computer Analyst, and loves the city life. He happens to be miles and miles away from Cindy and me on this special day. He is in Phnom Penh, Cambodia with his fiance Chenda Sou, celebrating his 32nd Birthday. In addition to traveling to Southeast Asia to see Chenda, Nathan enjoys skiing, working out, playing hockey and caring for his cat Socket. Select this link to see an updated photo presentation of Nathan.

The first picture I am including is a picture of Nathan with his G-grandmother Bura Davis Shepard, taken in San Diego in the spring of 1980. Bura actually looks fairly chipper at 83 in this picture, even though she would begin failing soon and passed away only 6 years later, just before her 90th birthday.

Tomorrow is the birthday of Ciara Ortiz, who is the 3rd GGgrandchild of Will and Bura Shepard. She is also the firstborn of Jeremy and Desiree Ortiz of El Cajon, Ca., the granddaughter of Kim Clark, and the Great granddaughter of Thelma and Terry Boyd. Mom Desiree says, "Ciara is turning 7 on April 4th. She is such a smart and loving girl. She is a straight "A" student and we are so proud of all that she is accomplishing! We just love her so much and are so proud to call her our daughter."

The second picture I am including shows Hannah Montana fan Ciara Ortiz. Thanks to Grandmother Kim Clark for this picture that was taken a few months ago. Happy Birthday to Ciara!

Are you making your plans to attend the family reunion in Oklahoma this summer on July 18? We are hoping for a great turnout as we celebrate the family that we are. The location will be the Newcastle Community Center in Newcastle, Oklahoma which is off I-44, just 15 miles south of the airport in Oklahoma City.

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