On July 21, the grandchildren of Louis Pappas (Papagiannakos) & Angelina Eftaxias gathered for our very first “cousins reunion” in New Jersey. Louis & Angelina had four children: Catherine (my mother), Bertha, Nick & Bill. Except for Nick’s four children who live in California, all of us East Coast cousins were there with our spouses and some our children. We spent a delightful summer afternoon just as our parents and grandparents used to do: eating traditional Greek food, talking politics and business, and catching up on family news. We were especially happy to have a baby shower for one of our cousins who will have a new baby girl in early August.
As I watched the younger children playing on the lawn, I was struck by the shift in generations. It didn’t seem that long ago that my cousins and I were the ones running through the house or exploring the yard. All of our parents are gone; only my uncle’s wife remains at age 89. My cousins and I are now the older generation.
I spent hours scanning many of my mother and grandmother’s old photos which were shared on CDs. I also compiled notebooks of Eftaxias family history. Passing these out to my cousins gave me a sense of joy and continuity. With today’s technology, sharing family history is easy. Making it a priority to do so is the big challenge!