Thursday, April 14, 2011

Family: A Mirror of Oneself, April 14, 2011

Don't visit family
unless you want to see
a mirror of yourself!
~Joan Shepard

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

I received word a few days ago from my cousin Joan Shepard of Dixon, California about a trip that she made recently to Oklahoma. She went to see her brother Dane and his family, including their father Elmer Shepard, who will be 93 next month. 

The first picture was taken at their mini family reunion in New Castle, Oklahoma, and shows Joan's cousin Kim Clark on the left in front of Kim's husband Jeff, who live in Blue Springs, Missouri. In the middle is the senior member of our Shepard clan, Elmer, with his son Dane behind him, in whose home this picture was taken. On the right in front is Joan with her daughter Havilah Colgain Wardle of West Valley, Utah.

Joan: "For my birthday, Havilah and I flew to Oklahoma City. It was such a blessing to see Dad and to visit our family there. Dane, Cindy, Nathan, and Kaylan are busy home schooling with all the bustle of band practice and bowling games. Also, they are devoted to the members of their church and to Dad, caring for his every need.

"An added bonus was a surprise visit from Kim and Jeff Clark. We caravaned to Dad's nursing home in a wind storm that reminded me of why the Shepards originally left Oklahoma and Two Buttes! I was delighted to see Dad, especially his eyes sparkling as he recognized us. He doesn't converse much anymore, but he did enjoy the attention and our trip for fried catfish (and fried okra, and fried corn, and fried pickles).

"While sitting beside Dad, Kim shared memories of Gram [Bura Davis Shepard]. I was reminded of how devoted our grandmother was to family, helping rear three generations -- from her own children to Gary Shepard and Shannon Wilk. We had to chuckle as we saw Gram's personality in each of us: perhaps calm determination is one trait we share, perhaps some stubbornness, too. (Don't visit family unless you want to see a mirror of yourself!)

"When we left Dad, it was difficult saying goodbye. But my heart feels especially blessed that Havilah could travel with me to be with family. Laughing and sharing tender moments with her was a perfect birthday gift! Like Kim, we'll keep memories alive. We'll always have our lives together with Elmer, a special Dad and Granddad."

Happy Birthday Rachel! Today is the birthday of my niece Rachel Shepard. She is the daughter of my brother Darrell Shepard and his wife Mary Medina Shepard. Rachel's brothers Christopher and Patrick complete the Darrell and Mary Shepard family, all of whom live in the Seattle area. Rachel lives with brother Chris and boyfriend Brian in Kirkland and is the business office manager at Memory Care Community in Seattle. For her birthday Rachel will have a special evening with her family, going out to eat and then enjoying the evening at her parent's home.

The second picture (above) shows Rachel on the left with her older brother Christopher on the right. Between them in their father Darrell. This picture was taken last fall in Anacortes, Washington when they were all gathered at Grandma Maida Shepard's home to celebrate her birthday.

The third picture, taken 20 years earlier, also shows Rachel with her brother Christopher, the one still demure and composed before the camera, the other one not so much. This picture was also taken on Wildwood Lane in Anacortes, at what has been the Shepard family home since 1978, when Maida and Eugene first moved from San Diego to Washington.
- - -

No comments: