Cousins to the 2nd or 3rd degree

It seems to me that children who are close to each other often grow distant in the rush of mid life, earning a living and rearing children, and then they grow closer again as they age.  Indeed, having never met Martin Richards I feel close to this boy whose eight year old body was buried today.  Like mine, his first name was Martin. I wonder if he received his first name because his mother’s  maiden name was Martin.  A DNA search might show us to be relatively close relations.

Do you remember a blog in which I related a lecture by a scholar of the Hindu religion?  He held up a clean sheet of letter-sized paper and asked what we saw.  While it looked like a single piece of paper, the lecturer said from a Hindu point of view we were looking at the universe.  For the Hindu understanding is that every thing in the universe is connected.  It can be said, I suppose, that we are all cousin to one degree another.

The offer of my brother’s book has brought cousins to the forefront.  A man who is a son of an uncle on the Lehman side, and is a son of a first cousin on the Martin side of the family, asked me to give a copy of John’s book to his daughter in Goshen.  She is a professor at Goshen College. As chair of the college’s Atheletic Department she is leading the program to new levels of achievement.

On last Friday evening, the celebration of Mary Oyer’s ninetieth birthday was kicked off by an ochestra program.  At the end, I walked out by an elderly man who was obviously thrilled by the final rendation of “Praise God from whom all Blessings Flow,”  I told him my name and then I inquired about his name.  “David Lehman” he replied.  “Oh,”  I exclaimed,  “My grandfather’s name was David Lehman.”

Our conversation continued in the clokeroom.  Apparently both of us have roots in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, but of different Lehman families.  Still searching for a connection, he asked, “Did you know Reuben Lehman?  “Yes,” I said “he was my father’s brother.”  He said, “Rueben was married to Katie Lehman, my father’s sister.”  So his neice and nephew, Helen and Verne,  are my first cousins.

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Mel and his wife, Dorothy Mae on left and Conrad and his father Marcus on the right side of the picture.

Now today I learned that my cousin Marcus Lehman’s deceased wife was related to Mel Wert, one of my long time friends.  On Marcus’ trip to Florida he spent time with Mel and Dorothy Mae in the Der Dutchman Resturant in Sarasota.  Here is a picture I captured from Mel’s email.  I am on his list to receive his irregular up dates to his family.

Thank God for connections.  Would that we would value them, and care for each other in a way that our connections would be honored by us all.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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