Friday, August 6, 2010

Family Reunion

Beatrice (Roseman) Spier, circa 1943

I have been a wanderer most of my life, starting when my parents decided to move the family to California from Montreal when I was 5. We lived there until I was 12 and then we moved back to Montreal. I was gone for enough years that I never really bonded with my extended family. I went to family functions, and liked some of my relatives but I was dancing to a different drummer once I reached my teenage years.

I moved to Vancouver, BC at 20 and then was 3000 miles away from family again. I felt an amazing sense of freedom in Vancouver and my 20's may now be somewhat of a blur, but I had a great time. Once I moved to Toronto in 1976 I connected with a few cousins, but by then we all were involved in our own lives and there wasn't much contact.

So it was a surprise and a challenge when my cousin Howard wrote to tell me that my second cousin Eric was organizing a family reunion. I believe he was motivated after finding old films from the 40's and 50's of the Roseman family.

I decided to go even though I never have participated in events like this. To cool for that? Worried about not feeling welcome or accepted? Not sure why not, but I definitely felt like a fish out of water with most of my family when I was younger. I was the black sheep who never bought the party line, always pushing the envelope.

It was last weekend and I had a blast reconnecting. Elaine came with me and I believe she had a good time meeting my family as well. I am so glad I didn't give in to my resistance.

Here is a group shot of us all:

Aging is an interesting process. It amazes me how my perception has shifted. I no longer feel so much an outsider looking in on people I can't really relate to and instead I appreciate each and everyone of them.

Gary & Terry Spier, circa 1954


  1. Great seeing you in Toronto, Terry, and meeting Elaine. The pictures above are priceless, thanks for posting them.

    -- Howard

  2. I have this picture of the two of you. I love it. It radiates a warmth... Love ya, Jewel

  3. BTW- You were known as TERRY ELLEN by the family in those days!!!!!!

  4. I've always lived in close proximity to most of my family, but barely recognize them when I run into them because I don't see them that often. I'm very close, in every way, to my immediate family though so I guess I should just give it a few more years.

    Your pictures are beautiful and so is the story :)

  5. Great seeing you again! What a wonderful reunion. Hope it happens again in a year. Perhaps in Vancouver!!
    Susan Roseman

  6. Thank you all for your comments. It is true, Latina, that for me my extended family has more meaning now that I am the only one left of my immediate family. Not sure it should have taken that, but it did.

    I lost the Ellen in my name when I moved to California - made sure to have it dropped by not responding when someone called me Terry Ellen. I don't remember the Roseman family calling me Terry Ellen, but I definitely remember the Spier side.