Monday, July 21, 2008


July202008 074
Originally uploaded by kristinafh
So yesterday was a quick in-and-out of Fort Wayne trip. The occasion? Our extended family - the Emmert's - invited us to attend the First Baptist Church (2323 Fairfield Avenue) 10:30 service which was immediately followed by the wedding of Todd Emmert and Amanda Fisher. A reception was held in the basement of the church.

As the crowd was gathering to start the reception, many thoughts were racing through my mind.

This church, as I've mentioned before, is rich with history and tradition. I'm always in awe of entities which have survived and flourished through many centuries. Often, I wonder - was it a fluke? Was it a series of coincidences? How does an entity in ever-changing economic and social climates, adapt and stay relevant?

I pondered this while enjoying a meal with my mom, her husband, my aunt, and her husband.

After the meal, Leon told the crowd about his mother Vida. As I've mentioned before, she and my great-grandfather, were orphaned (16 and 14 respectfully) when their parents were victims of a fire that took place right there on their farm.

Leon said that there was a lot of pressure for his mother and his uncle to be adopted. Vida refused. She had already completed one year of high school and she insisted on completing her education and keeping the family farm alive.

I was more than impressed with this story. Can you imagine?! Early 1900's - a chick - thumbing her nose as society and saying, I'm gonna do things my way?! Frickin' awesome. I am in complete admiration.

Leon went on to tell us about my great-grandfather. He was drafted into World War I and came back injured (something none of us knew - my mom, my aunts). His first wife died (Rosina Breer), and his second wife Helena Starost was "delightful".

While Leon grew up on the Roy Family farm, my grandpa Wayne, lived in the 'big' city. Helena always made sure that her three boys - Wayne, Walter, and Kenny - spent weekends at the Roy Family farm. It was there that they formed a strong, family relationship with their cousins - the Emmert's. Leon mentioned specifically that they spent countless hours, playing in the hay bales, climbing trees and tinkering with odds and ends.

Leon recalled Kenny's unfortunate death. At the age of nine, he had died from some heart ailment. The funeral and service, he said, was held just down the street at St. Patrick's.

I asked him what kind of kid my grandpa was. My grandpa was always a reserved adult - very quiet compared to somone like me :). He said that grandpa knew how to have fun. He wasn't too quiet but he wasn't nearly as ornery as his younger brother Walter.

It was nice to hear all of this about my grandpa.

When the story ended, I looked up, and saw this very simple vase on our table.

RESERVED - Family.

I thought, I am really proud to be part of this family. I took a lot of this for granted for many years. And then, my mind switched back to the first thought I had as I was waiting in line for the food.

"How does an entity in ever-changing economic and social climates, adapt and stay relevant?"


It all made sense to me now.