Saturday, February 11, 2012

Oaks Park 2/10/12

 Anyone who knew Kenneth and Elizabeth Barton knew family and friends meant everything to them. Sadly, both have passed on to meet their maker, leaving behind a family that is not as close as they would have wished.

Recently some of their grandchildren have been making a concerted effort to rectify that. Among the initiatives has been trying to gather the extended family and friends together at various times and places.

Instrumental in developing the plan, extending invites, and encouraging the various clan members to show up have been Trudi Barton, Josh Keene and Drew Barton.

On Feb 2nd, 2012 the second event was held at Oaks Park.

Well attended by both family and friends, here are some pics of the event.

For many of the youngest kids such as Clara and Isaac Barton, Asher and Micah Keene, Tyler Bissell, it was their first time roller skating.

One young girl saw Clara being assisted by Tracy and Drew and offered to "teach her to skate". This sort of friendliness is exactly the thing Grandpa would have done himself and loved to see in others.

So was seeing friends Cassie and Tracy help Tyler learn to skate.

Or seeing the Keenes and Barton's enjoy closer friendship.

Come to think of it, I am enjoying seeing all these things myself!

After all, we live in troubled times. All too many people reject, resist or ignore God and family. the idea of the "nuclear family" is maligned, and forget having an extended family...if Mom and Dad do not belong together, what chance do cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and grandparents have of being involved in the lives of loved ones?

This is a shame. We will not see that fate befall our family.

Instead we will actively pursue finding opportunities for the various descendants, friends and loved ones of Grandpa and Grandma to get together.

2011 was another in a line of difficult years for the K&E clan. Our loved ones who have departed start with two of Ken and Elizabeths' children, Pat and Ken.

Both were good-hearted, friendly people who demonstrably cared for others more than themselves.

Also passing was Grandma Elizabeth herself.

Though her later years saw her suffer the frailties of the aged, she lived a long and full life. We do her honor to gather in her memory and take joy in knowing those of our family..and the friends that family has been blessed to know.

It is my hope that as the years go on, the rifts that have developed in some parts of the family will heal, that we will join back together as family, full of love for one another.

From the youngest to the oldest.

From the most normal to...well...Tracy, I love you, but look how frightened you made Kenneth?

As new relationships grow and more family and friends are added to the circle, we will actively work to have a family at peace with one another.

We will strive to bring smiles to the faces of those we love and care about.

New friends and family members will produce an expanded circle.

There may be falls along the way, but we will get up every time.

In the end, we will be stronger for knowing one another.

So come on in, get to know us, join the circle.

And, as Tyler shows us, lets' go gangsta Barton style...with a big smile and sense of humor.

God first, family second, and everything else will work itself out.

A big thank you to everyone who came to the first event. It is important to show up. There is no other way we can show solidarity as family and friends. Much love to all of you, both those I know and the wonderful neighbors Trudi brought I met for the first time.