Family

I recently read an article in Parade Magazine, “Why We Still Love Star Wars,” by Mara Reinstein. She summed it up with two words, “Luke Skywalker.” I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Star Wars, but the story has hung around so long even a casual observer becomes sucked in to the bluster that rekindles with the release of each new movie. While many of the original characters retain their positions, new personalities are introduced along with special effects meant to wow even the most sedate and keep movie goers standing in long lines to view the latest.

Regardless of my personal lack of interest in science fiction, my children and grandchildren are among the throngs awaiting the next adventure. After overhearing endless discussions on the subject, I’ve formed my own opinion. The enthusiastic fans feel connected. It matters not that the characters more resemble a tin can, a basketball or someone you’d like to avoid on a dark night–they’ve become family. The good, bad and the ugly–they’ve made an impression and we feel connected to the personalities in the story.

Tomorrow, my husband and I will attend the Ogden Family Reunion in Odum, Georgia. None of the multitude of cousins or extended family members resemble tin cans, but we’re all linked by the DNA of our parents, grandparents and ancestors from long ago. Though we come from various walks of life, when we’re together we create a menagerie of fun, laughter and stories worth telling. We feel the connection to something greater than our immediate families.

The tables groaning with southern cooking end with an array of desserts surrounding the large birthday cake for Uncle Colen Ogden. The only survivor of my grandparents’ twelve children will be celebrating his 95th birthday. He’s our family patriarch who survived the hardships facing a large family during the depression, World War II and the years of loss as he outlived his parents, siblings and his dear wife of sixty-five years. We are his family and we will honor him. It will be a fine few hours reconnecting with those we see only once a year.

My dear Star Wars fans: “May the Force be with you” as you enjoy that feeling of comradiere with your imaginary characters in a far away galaxy. As for me, I’ll be connecting with real-life relatives who have their roots in the sandy soil of South Georgia.

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