If we’re lucky we get three types of family: the family we’re born into, the family we marry into, and the family we happen to pick up along the way. For us, the Jones family falls into that last category, which means we are really lucky.
Today, we said goodbye to Dick Jones, the remaining patriarch in a huge spread out, yet very connected, family. Dick was one of those people who made everyone feel welcome both at his business and at his home. He was not a large man, but had a laugh as big as all outdoors. He had a mischievous grin and a gentle nature. A baker by trade, most of the town either knew him or had heard of him.
Dick and Marilyn “Jean” Jones raised five children, and ended up with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In addition, Dick came from a large family, so there are multiple layers of cousins, aunts, and uncles. Each year at the Jones family reunion they form a large circle and count off. Sometimes there are well over 100 people there.
We are what you would call “shirttail” relations. In Swedish they call it “släkt till släkt.” (Hope I got this right. I am not at all Swedish and it’s the best spelling I could find.) Here’s the real scoop on how we’re related: my husband’s mother’s aunt was married to Adolph Jones, who would have been Dick Jones’ uncle. Confused? Don’t worry, lots of people are.
But this little piece of information many years ago caused Dick and Jean and their kids to take us under their wing and into their family. It’s not that they needed more cousins – it’s that they sincerely considered us cousins. Dick may never have realized how truly important that was to my husband, who grew up somewhat apart from his own father and his own extended family. For longer than our children have been alive, we have been welcomed like family into the Jones/Jonsson clan. It created a lasting connection that leaves us feeling truly blessed.
The extended Jones family came from far and wide for the funeral today. You could honestly feel the love in that church.
So here I am baking and thinking about Dick Jones; a kind and gentle man who found time to make glögg every Christmas, baker extraordinaire, and always had a twinkle in his eye, a strong faith, and enormous love for his family. Thanks for including us, Dick. We loved you and will miss you.