Family Reunions


In the past few months we’ve attended three wonderful family reunions. The first reunion was organized perfectly by my cousins Art and Karen Lambert and was held at the beautiful Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon. This one was with Mark’s side of the family and was called Christmas in July because we usually celebrate together around Christmastime but this year we changed it to July so more family members could attend.

This reunion was extra special because my niece Melissa, who lives in China with her husband Chad, was able to be here with her two children Connor and Brooke.


Later in the summer my mother’s side of the family all met at Daniel’s Restaurant in Hesperia for a Kraus reunion. Many of my relatives traveled far to attend this reunion. My cousin MaryAnn Slavik who lives in Niles, Michigan organized this beautiful event. Afterward we went back to Roger and Judy Kraus’ house for dessert and final hugs.


Our last reunion of the year was organized by my thoughtful cousin Darlene Vanderberg. This reunion was the Beckman reunion and was held at Northside Pub in Muskegon.


At this reunion we learned that our cousin Rod Beckman had liver cancer and was waiting patiently for a new liver. On October 9, 2013 Rod and his family traveled to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit to receive his new liver. The surgery went well and after a few weeks of staying near the hospital he and his beautiful wife Traci were able to go home to Ludington where he will finish recuperating.


When I was young and shy going to a family reunion was difficult for me because all of our relatives lived out of town and I didn’t know them very well. Today is different, even though I still don’t know my cousins very well, I feel like we all have an extra special bond, maybe because of our parents. Now I love seeing my cousins, aunts and uncles.


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