These times are tough. The virus is disrupting our lives. Many people are troubled with serious, deadly illnesses. Years of relationships are breaking up. People are in pain.
When I look at this old family photo, I am reminded that the entire back/top row of my family is already gone. They have passed away. Only myself and my brother (in bottom row) remain. How does that make me feel? Sad, but reflective on life. What have I done with my life? Have I been a helpful, loving member of my family as well as my community, and society? With my remaining years, how might I become more giving, helpful, a better listener to all others, more contributing, kinder, more sensitive to “hear” the pains and frustrations of others, more understanding, more selfless, more decisive in helping other persons move through their various pains of life with illness or with loved ones?
It’s a truly funny feeling to look at this photo. My cousin, younger sister, mother, father, and grandfather are all gone (entire top row)! I am the little girl in the bottom left, with my older brother in the bottom right. I am helping that older brother even as I write this blog. He lives in Oregon now and has multiple health issues.
My father was a Baptist Minister so my culture is steeped in a deeply religious foundation. Each family has its own culture and traditions which is what makes a family special and unique. But as I glance at this old photo, the stark reality of their passing – an entire row of family members is gone – impresses upon me my responsibilities to still be alive. I am so grateful for each of my family members as they continue to teach me about the many blessings I still have simply by being alive.
How are you interconnecting with your family members? Even though families have conflicts and difference of opinions, there are still special bonds between families. Families are the longest relationships you will ever have in your lifetime. Families know your strengths and weaknesses. Families typically are your safe places to land when you are in pain. Families may also “kick you in the butt” with tough love when you need it. Families are not by choice usually. Families are connected by birth, blood, adoption, and/or marriages.
I feel grateful for each of my family members today. When I look at old photos or videos, and one family member is no longer present, I am reminded that each day with each family member is a blessing. Be grateful for family members.