Monday, June 3, 2013

Something To Be Missed

As we pulled away from my parents home in Virginia the tears came. We had finally made our long awaited trip and it was hard to see it end. Every mile we drove further from my parents home was hard for me. I consoled myself knowing we still had more family to see in Illinois. But far too soon we were driving away from Illinois and the tears began again. Once again I consoled myself in the knowledge that we were simply going to Colorado to see the in-laws. But of course this too came to an end and this time there would be no more stops (aside from the overly frequented gas station restrooms). As the noises hushed around me while I drove I-80 my mind reminisced and of course more tears.

Why was this so hard for me? Though I always miss my extended family, I never sit around my house crying that I'm not with them. Well, I think I just didn't know what I was missing.  Now I do.  I miss Grandma holding Jackson and Grandpa telling "Grandpa stories." Or late night talks with people I love. I miss my mom teaching all of us how to make star shaped snowflakes. I miss telling silly stories and laughing until my cheeks ache over the chubby-wubby club. I miss the kids playing and creating new worlds with their cousins.  I miss sitting around the dinner table to a meal we all helped prepare. I miss watching the rain pour down on moms back porch. I have been reminded of what I am missing.

There is a silver lining to coming home however, its my brother and his family. I think maybe I'll give them a call tomorrow.

I'll leave you with a tidbit from chapter 10 of my book Family Ever After.

"On a recent outing with my husband’s family, we braved the Vedauwoo rocks in Wyoming. There were eleven kids under age twelve, and we all climbed the mountain to the top. It was amazing to me how aunts and uncles stepped in to help, how brothers worked together to pull and push people up the rocks, and how mothers, sisters, and grandparents held little hands that were not always their own children. We were able to hand kids down from person to person in order to get the children safely up or down steeper slopes. Everyone looked out for everyone, and we made it up and down without a single injury. I knew if my child was with any of the other family members they would be safe.

I couldn’t help but compare this to life. This is what extended family is for—they should be a support. They should continually look out for each other and help one another not just because they are asked or because it’s convenient. I can assure you it was not convenient for pregnant Liz to drive across the country to help me or for my other siblings and their spouses to show up at my house with food and take care of my children for days on end. It was not convenient for parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles to share their hard-earned food, money, and time. Just as we were all concerned for the well-being and safety of everyone on that mountain, we, as extended family, should constantly be aware of our loved ones and their well-being and safety. Had we only looked out for our own families while on the mountain, I am quite positive we would have had a far greater struggle, and likely not made it to the top. Nor would it have ended without injury.

Life, like climbing a mountain, is definitely rocky at times. It is hard work and often very tiring. We can’t do it alone. Having loved ones at our side helps us achieve beyond our own capabilities. It helps us discover that we can do things we didn’t believe we could, and it helps us find joy even when it is hard." 

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