365 Days of Wonderful – Day 12
I am grateful for family connections! OK, so this post is officially for YESTERDAY! I was having so much fun with my cousin, that I said yes to the second margarita… and decided that I better not blog under the influence! ;0 LOL
Life is busy, and we don’t take time to see each other often enough. I think that is true of all of my family. I lost my mother to colon cancer in 2001 when I was just 36. To paint a broader picture, I am an only child, I am divorced, and I was not graced with children. Now, when I have the opportunity to connect with family it is important to me to say YES, and to make the effort to shift my schedule and make the time. I am grateful for the shared laughter, and stories–the bonding that happens real time. I am aware of how valuable family connections are–for each of us.
My grandmother was the matriarch of our family, and she held gatherings at every holiday. We went for food, and family connections. I didn’t understand the strength of family values that she was instilling, and the subtle lessons that were imparted. When I was in my 20’s I didn’t want to go, and I am certain that my attendance plummeted. I’m sure I thought, what’s the difference, I just saw everyone…
This cousin I am visiting grew up in a different state. There is a nine years difference in our age, so we really didn’t know each other when we were younger. Now at 53 and 44, we are having the best time, sharing about the influences our grandmother had on us, laughing, and talking about being strong women. My heart is full with the gratitude I have for my grandmother, my mother, my aunts, my cousins, and the fond memories of playing and just being kids.
I love that I came to age with my cousins Chris and Mike hiking through the woods, dancing to our reflections in the dining room window, and sleeping out in the tent in the summers. I am grateful that when we moved to Puget Sound their family, and our grandparents followed a few years later. I am grateful that I had a cousin a year, and two years older than me, and that our parents used each other as baby sitters. This gave me the sense of having siblings… my Cousin Chris is like my sister–and I am SO SO grateful for that.
I see now that sharing our humanness alongside one another is the beauty of life. It is good to share our challenges, hopes, and dreams with each other. It is good to get each other’s opinion, even when we don’t see eye to eye. Family connections instill values, morals, and a sense of belonging and community. I guess if we are lucky our family of origin is a place to provide these healthy connections. Or, that we create families, or connections with friends that give us a place to relate, reflect, and witness each other’s lives.
365 Days of Wonderful – A Gratitude Practice for shifting the way that we think, and re-framing life with a slant toward the positive.
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Blessings. _____________ Individual Inquiry: What is your sense of family? What connections fill your cup? Who do you relate to and how can you enhance these connections? Is it possible to relate to each other from a place of curiosity, gratitude, and love?