While thinking about my sweet family, I thought how different we all are--but also alike.
Uncle Jim ran through my mind and his need to plant acres and acres of peas every year. He loved to watch them grow. My sweet Aunt Teets told me the deer could have them, because she did not intend to put up one more pea in her lifetime.
Then there was the Uncle and Aunt who did not speak to my daddy for several years before he died at the age of 45. I know the problem was over business-but beyond that I will really never know the details of what drove a wedge between two brothers.
My other paternal aunt played the piano for the church we attended. I remember walking to her house when I heard her practicing for Sunday. There she sat at the piano with a cigarette hanging precariously from the side of her mouth while she played the great old hymns with abandonment. How she balanced the ash which was half the length of the cigarette, banged those notes out, and blew smoke out the other side of her mouth is beyond me.
My own children have very unique and different personalities. Their physical features are very different, but there is a common thread when I see their expressions and enjoy their humor. In the last few years, I have become aware of the fact that they talk about me---and even laugh about my quirks and crazies. IT IS NOT NICE TO LAUGH AT THE QUEEN!
Two of them have their Mom's OCD tendencies and the other has not one obsessive bone in her body. Two of them never meet a stranger and the other is like his Mom--we reservedly observe before diving in. One is an avid reader of all genres and loves to write, like her mom, and the other two read only what interests them and might send an extremely short email-if pressed.
I am watching my grands grow up and find it amazing how each has a unique personality--but yet I see so many similarities.
They are family. My family looks slightly different these days--but it reminds me of a puddle of water. If you siphon a cup of the water out of the puddle, the other water drops fill in the hole that was created but it still is a puddle.. So it is with family, we loose members, but we are still family.
I am blessed to have an amazing family--children, children's spouses, grands, brothers, sister in laws, nephews, nieces, great nephews and nieces. My family tree is full of lovely branches with beautiful leaves hanging from each branch. There is nothing quite like family and yet---we still are all a mess at best!
Some are not from large families, some are estranged from their families, and some grieve for the family ties. As I thought over my friend's dilemma with her family, I remembered she has a small but well defined and beautiful nucleus of a family. There are times--smaller--more intimate is better.
We all are blessed with a family of friends. I have friends that I love deeply and consider family. I have been in small groups which were mirrors of family. Families come in all forms, shapes, sizes and reasons for the common bond which unite them.
What is family-after all?
A group of relationships with similar heritage--be it genetic or philosophical or spiritual. Community---from any source is synonymous with family for me.
So do not grieve for what you wished you had--instead treasure what you do have and BE BLESSED!
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Honor one another above yourselves.