A Family Reunion 55 Years in the Making
For senior citizen Veronica Sheets of Haines City, seeing her family again was more than she could have ever wished. Sheets had six siblings. Her large family grew up in Youngstown, Ohio. The last time anyone saw each other was 55 years ago when their mother was still alive. And this was their first reunion after many years apart.
“We’re all still living, and we’re in our 70s and 80s. When my mother (Mary Cooper) was living 55 years ago, we all got together in Struthers, Ohio,” Sheets said. “This family reunion was all arranged so we could be at the same place at the same time, at one of the sister’s homes, Margaret Bindas,” she said.
Though Sheets offered many reasons for the siblings failing to meet, she agreed 55 years was too long. She attributed finances and work situations as the primary causes along with some health-related reasons which could not have been avoided.
“My brothers were in service to our great country, and some of the reasons were health-related, too,” she said.
Though some siblings had contact over the years, they never reunited at the same time. But now, 55 years later, with the help of social media sites, the family is reuniting for the second time—with everyone present in the same building.
The reunion was a long time coming and all siblings were more than ready to meet up again. They shared emotional stories, while laughing, crying, and reminiscing on where their lives ended up.
“Our conversations included growing up, having children, having grandchildren, and now having great-grandchildren” Sheets said. “We also talked about health encounters that each didn’t know the other had gone through.”
Sheets said that the siblings communicate over the phone and by mail, but in person meeting should be more of a priority. She was happy that all seven siblings were still alive and able to reunite.
“Being that the chair is now empty, because our mother went home to be with the Lord in 1991, but the seven of us are still here,” Sheets said. “We thought she would be pleased to know that all of her children were together again at the same time.”
Because Sheets has three children who live in different states, she is experiencing the same separations she did with her own siblings. They meet at different times but never manage to get together simultaneously. Sheets cited time and finances as the reason.
Sheets hopes the next reunion will happen sooner.
“That was just too long,” she said.