Friday, January 09, 2009

Shepard Family Update, January 9, 2009

If you don't believe in ghosts,
you've never been to a family reunion
~Ashleigh Brilliant

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

We are not back yet from our trip to Southeast Asia, but through the miracle of the internet, this family message is coming to you nonetheless! I can give you a brief report of our trip and say that it has been an unforgettable experience. We have never been to Asia before, so our eyes have really been opened to life in a third world country.

I have a very high regard for this family of ours, and enjoy very much thinking about our family past and present, and sharing pictures old and new. Sometimes, however, I may inadvertently give the impression in these messages that family life is always wonderful and no problems ever arise for the best of families, including our own. I also may give the impression that our ancestors always acted with the noblest motives and were always wonderful people. But obviously that is not, and never has been, the case. The quote at the top of this message is a lighthearted way to get at that reality. We don't like to talk about it, but sometimes WITHIN family life the deepest pains are felt and the greatest heartaches are rooted.

Like most of you, I have known that for a long time, but it has been reinforced to me in the last year since I have been writing this family blog. I am grateful that even though this is the case on occasion, we can still find great meaning in the family relationships we cherish. So forgive me if at times I give an overly sentimental impression of family. The best families are not those with no problems, but those who deal with them in a healthy manner.

Tomorrow is the birthday of Mary (Medina) Shepard. The first picture I am including today is a picture of Mary with her younger son Patrick and her husband Darrell. Mary is originally from Chicago, and met Darrell at Abilene Christian university in Abilene, Texas.

This coming Wednesday is the birthday of Eric Russell, a long lost cousin of ours. Eric is the oldest great grandchild of Will and Bura Shepard. Last I heard he, his wife Ruth and his dad Rex were living in the Reno, Nevada area. One of these days I hope that we will make contact with them again. It has been several years since any of our family has heard from them.

The second picture shows the family of Eugene and Maida Shepard in 1975. This picture was taken in San Diego and shows all the members of this part of our family at the time.
From left to right on the back row are Cindy and Steve (no that's not a wig -- that how some of us wore our hair back then!), Darrell (no that's not a wig -- that how some of us wore our hair back then!), Barbara and Russell. On the front row are Gene and Maida, and Jackie and Gary. The children in front are Kerri, Kelly and Jason. Everyone in this picture was living in San Diego at the time except Cindy and me who were living in the L.A. area at the time.
Remember to make your plans for the Shepard Family Reunion in Oklahoma, July 18, 2009.

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