Thursday, October 8, 2009

On Family

Today our family comes together in love to support grieving members. My aunt's mother passed after a long illness, and so we gather in a circle of love for Aunt Pattie, Uncle Al, and my cousins Sue and Pete.
These days, many families come together only "for weddings and funerals" as the saying goes. Our family socializes on a regular basis, building bonds of love and friendship spanning the generations. Just as I consider my brothers and sisters-in-law to be among my very best friends, I also consider my aunts and cousins as friends - not "just family" to see occasionally.

In the past, I have had friends comment about how unusual it is for me to enjoy (and not simply endure or avoid) spending Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Father's Day and other "regular days" with four generations (now three since Grandma's passing). I think it unusual and very lonely to spend holidays without!

While many may take family for granted, we cannot and do not. We know that a strong family is not just a wonderful bonus when we have joyous moments, but also an important support system when tragedy strikes, like the sudden tragic loss of two young family members in 2001. And family bonds support us during those "ordinary" sadnesses like the passing of a beloved elderly grandmother - allowing us to share multi-generational memories and stories - bringing laughter with the tears.