published Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Mohney: Home+family=blessing

By Nell Mohney

Once at a conference I attended, I heard a psychiatrist make a surprising statement. Maybe it was a tongue-in-cheek statement, but what he said was, "The reason we have so many suicides soon after Christmas is that during that short period, so many family reunions occur." Last weekend, the Webb family had a fun reunion, and I think I can safely report that no one even contemplated suicide.

Actually, my husband's family has had reunions for years because my in-laws, the late Dr. and Mrs. S.P. Mohney of Lexington, Ky., had four sons, and their careers took them to four states. At reunions, their children not only got to know each other, but one, Dr. Neil Plummer, a geologist from Washington, D.C., visited each of the original four sons and their families, did the research and published a wonderful book. It is proudly displayed on our coffee table. Foundation stones include faith, family, career and country.

On the other hand, all the Webbs who originated from my parents, the late Wonnie and Maude Webb, lived only in North Carolina and Tennessee. As a result, we've seen each other fairly often. The only exception was Army chaplain Don Allison and his family, who have lived all over the world. He and my niece, Eleanor, now live in Chattanooga.

This past weekend's reunion was precipitated by an invitation to a concert by one of my brother's sons, Rick Webb, and his singing family -- wife, Phyllis, and two grown children, Parker and Hannah -- in Chattanooga. They sing nationally and internationally to Christian groups and conferences.

An early dinner for 17 on Saturday evening was held at the home of my son and his wife, Ralph and Jackie Mohney, at the lake. Following dinner, Wes Mohney and Honor Hostetler took people of varying ages out for lake activities. We had to telephone them to get them back off the lake.

On Sunday, some of us got to hear the Webbs sing at 11 a.m., and another group attended the 6 p.m. concert. It really was a great weekend, and just before the reunion, I found an old book on the family written by Dr. Hazen Werner. He wrote: "No one gets very far from the home in which he was reared either in memory or in the personality he or she develops and carries around for a lifetime." Then he gave three questions to ask at a reunion. Here are mine. Try yours.

1. Who in my family do I look like? (Fortunately for them, nobody.)

2. Who in my extended family would I like to be like? (I wish I could be more like my paternal grandmother -- disciplined, fun, faithful and creative.)

3. How do I want to be remembered? (I'm working on that.)

I'm grateful for a wall hanging given me recently by a friend. It says: "Having a place to go is HOME; having someone to love is FAMILY; having both is a BLESSING."

Nell Mohney is a Christian author, motivational speaker and seminar leader. She may be reached at nellwmohney@comcast.net.

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