The Cordelia Connection

This is my family.

My Family

My Family

The young woman to the far right, holding a baby, is Cordelia.  She is my great grandmother.  The baby is my great aunt Lessie.  To the far left are her mother and father, the Casteens and to her immediate left is her mother-in-law (all of these, my great great grandparents).  To the right of Cordelia is her husband, my great grandfather, James David Lanier.  The picture is dotted with my great aunts and uncles when they were young children.  The unnamed four were family friends – a couple with their two daughters.

For years, I’ve looked upon this picture as if these people were ficticious.  Someone else’s people.  From a time that had nothing to do with me.  But at yesterday’s family reunion – around the SEVENTIETH-something since these every-third-Saturday-in-September reunions began – my view of this picture was forever changed.  As I got to listen to Aunt Beatrice tell about each individual in this photograph, these people – THESE FAMILY MEMBERS – came to life for me!.  I saw an instant familiarity within these faces now and desired to know more about the rich family history of the late 1800s / early 1900s.  Aunt Pat told of the actual piece of land on which this picture was taken, likely a hundred years ago or so.  I heard stories of farming success and raising 14 children in that house.  I heard stories of great riches and great losses.  And then, I heard something about Cordelia.  Something that set my heart on fire and brought tears of joy.

Cordelia went to church.  She most certainly did.  And she worshiped in a house of the Lord regularly with her mother.  Cordelia went to a Pentecostal church!     My heart leapt with joy because I knew I had some Holiness in my bloodline somewhere!  Haha!  Just the thought of my great grandmother raising her hands in praise and worship excites me, because I realized in that moment that this family I’ve always looked upon but never really “knew” would be family I would surely know in heaven.  The tears of joy came from the instant thought of knowing Cordelia loved her family, and loved her Lord, and I felt the weight and weightlessness of prayers from a century ago touch me simultaneously.  I have a connection.  The Cordelia connection!

Thank you, Jesus!

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Pattie on September 22, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Love this one! I can’t wait to go to my next Family Reunion. This piece brought a tear or two to my eyes.


    • You, my friend, are JUST LIKE the couple and their daughters in that old family picture….might not be blood, but you will always be family to us, and our own family portrait isn’t complete with you!


  2. Posted by Renee Simopoulos on September 22, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I too have this picture hanging in our home. I am so glad to know who everyone is. Thank you Sherry for sharing. Sorry we missed yesterday….hope to see everyone next year. Love to all, Renee Simopoulos


    • Oh, Renee – it was such a great time! Beatrice brought a bunch of old photos from her momma’s photo album and allof us just hanged out around the photo tables after our lunch, talking and remembering, sharing and laughing. What a blessing! And your momma, mine and your daddy did a great job of hosting….and Joy….what a blessing she is! I’m so thankful for her heart and hands that help out with our parents, no matter what. I hope next year you all can come! Looking forward to seeing you Thanksgiving!


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