Visiting with family offers wonderful memories
For at least the last three years, Helen Staton Meyer Singer had been trying to get in touch with my husband, Eric.
They had not been in touch for several years, since she moved from Lakeland, Florida, back to Cambridge City, Indiana.
She knew she was getting older, and she wanted once again to visit with her Kentucky cousins. After all, she was the last living link to their family.
The last time Eric and I saw her was at her daddy’s 90th birthday. We knew her dad as Uncle Russell. He was in the hospital when I met him, but I was left with a lasting impression.
He was able to tell us in order, forward and backward, every president from George Washington up to (If I remember correctly) Bill Clinton, who was president at the time. I was in awe of this 90-year-old’s memory.
About the only other things I knew about Uncle Russell up to that time, were that he loved to play the horses and was often went to Keeneland. He also loved the Cincinnati Red Legs.
He was Eric’s dad’s half-brother, and was the oldest member of his family.
Helen Singer was Russell Staton’s daughter and Eric’s Dad’s first cousin.
Because of the internet and Facebook, Helen Singer’s daughter, Janet, located us.
For the last two years, a reunion was being planned, and then the coronavirus hit in March.
That had to be taken into consideration as to when and where they might possibly meet.
Helen was not getting any younger. By now, she was 95.
Everyone knew if a reunion of cousins was to happen, it could not wait much longer.
So Eric got busy calling cousins he had not seen for awhile on the Staton side.
This past Sunday, Eric’s sister, Teresa, and her husband, T.J. Scribner, offered their home for the reunion, and the Staton cousins came to see Helen.
Her daughter, Janet, and husband, Clyde Creech, with whom Helen lives, brought her down to Kentucky.
It was such a cute story when Janet told about her Mom’s anticipation of seeing everyone.
She evidently got very little sleep the night before. Janet said she heard her up at 4 a.m. and went to check on her. Janet asked her why she was up and she said she just could not sleep.
Janet told her to go back to bed. A little while later, she was up with a flashlight puttering around.
This aroused Janet once more, so she went in to check on her again. This time, she told her she was laying out her earrings that she wanted to wear.
Janet said she had told everyone all week that she was coming to see her cousins in Kentucky.
I do not know who enjoyed their visit with Helen the most because everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
They are all like so many other cousins and families today who do not visit with one another except for funerals. That is about the only time people make the time to see each other.
I enjoyed hearing the laughter and the stories throughout the rooms.
I loved watching as Helen tried so desperately to identify each person as they came in. She did OK on a few and recognized some of the group, but most everyone was now older and had changed drastically from the last time she had seen them.
I loved the joy on her face as Steve Crosby and his mom Delena filled everyone in about their families.
Larry and Libby Raney and James Raney did the same, and asked others to follow.
Then Nancy Morguson Powell came from Lexington, and her son, Phillip from Burgin, and one of Nancy’s daughters, Debbie, came from another branch of the Statons and added more conversation and laughter.
Each one seemed to add something special to the afternoon.
Eric told about all of our kids and grandchildren to anyone he sat by.
His sister, Peggy, and niece, Morgan, came from Bloomfield and Bardstown.
Even though Eric’s two sisters live in Kentucky, he seldom gets to visit with Teresa and Peggy, so it was good for them too.
From the smiles on the faces of all who were there and the enjoyment of the meal, another reunion may not take as long to get together.
It was good to see Helen Singer, a beloved cousin and the last link that connects the cousins from Eric’s dad’s side and his sister’s families.
Sometimes reunions make you realize how important family really is. Their memories were filled with love for one another.
Sue Staton is a Clark County native. She is a wife, mother and grandmother.