Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Family Ties

There's nothing like family! We've had a wonderful Christmas! We've shared a lot of time with family this week and have enjoyed every minute of it!

We spent Christmas Eve with RJ's sister and her family and brother and his family. This was a tough Christmas. My dear hubby lost both of his parents after long illnesses within a year of each other. This was our first Christmas without either of them. It's excruciatingly painful to celebrate such a wonderful occasion without the people who helped make the celebration so special for so many years. Many things changed and didn't "seem right," but many traditions stayed the same in new ways. We still gathered on Christmas Eve, but not in the same house we'd always gathered. We still celebrated family and being together, but with the screaming absence of 2 people we all deeply loved. We still brought food and enjoyed a wonderful meal together, but without his mother's experienced, home cooked touch. We're still family - with the same values, same history, and same love. We hurt, but celebrate together and will heal together very aware that time spent together is precious. Family is a wonderfully comforting and supportive gift from God!

Christmas morning was a tornado of activity with our three children. We had a great time opening presents, discovering what Santa brought, preparing and eating breakfast, and playing with new toys together. It was a time of excited activity! Family is a wonderfully fun and thrilling gift from God!

Christmas afternoon we arrived at my parents' house to spend time with them and my brother and his family. We opened presents again, had a wonderful meal together, played games, laughed and enjoyed each other's company. There are always many jokes and laughter with my family, many discussions and lot of kids' activity. Our time together is always comfortable and familiar. Family is a wonderfully loving and relaxing gift from God!

Tuesday we went to my Grandmother's house to celebrate with our extended family. My mother is one of 7 children and all 7 were at my grandmother's house with their families. In attendance were my grandmother, her 7 children, 6 of her children-in-law, 13 grandchildren, 4 grandchildren-in-law, 13 great-grandchildren, and 1 good friend. We had hours of loud, boisterous fun, times of in-depth conversation, and times of sharing stories and memories! Opening exchange presents with that many people in one room is a hoot! We had people ranging in age from 84 to 3 years old! No arguments, no disagreements, lots of laughter, lots of fun, lots of interaction! I love to see the small groups of people talking or playing change and revolve to different groups building bonds and memories. Family is a wonderfully secure and traditional gift from God!

Today we're back home with one of my brother's wonderful kids. I'm listening to sounds of four of the children I love most in this world laughing, playing and having fun together. This time is priceless beyond words. I thank God for my family.


Joan said...

Me, too -- what you said! And your family thanks God for YOU!

Jane said...

Sounds like loads of fun. Your grandmother is one very special lady to me too!

The Median Sib said...

Amen to what Joan and Jane said!