Sunday, 31 January 2016

Family day today ( and every day)

When I woke this morning and followed my ritual of thanks and a cuppa- I had a thought. A word popped into my mind- family!

 "Write something about your meaning or connection with family" it said.

Now, like most mothers, my children are constantly present in my mind- sometimes right up there, sometimes in the back ground but DEFINITELY present. And when I say children I mean that in the broadest sense of the word - children, their partners ( whom I elect to love as my children) and my grandchildren - both those I can hug ( figuratively speaking as they live abroad) and the one in my heart.

I think the focus on family resulted after a visit to my husband's aunt on her 89th birthday yesterday. She has been a widow for many years- has no children of her own so 'borrows' with love, her nieces and nephews. She had a room full of visitors in all age ranges. It was a wonderfully warm visit and I felt privileged to have been a small part of it. So, focus on family.

Family for me has many meanings- but firstly all due must go to those nearest and dearest- my parents, my siblings and my heritage. It has partly shaped me. The experiences of having my own family, involvement with extended family and the friends gathered around me have helped with moulding the rest of ME.

My parents, whom I also hold dear in my heart, were pioneers, courageous and steadfast. They shared 53 +1/2 years of marriage, brought forth 5 children, survived various of life's dramas and made decisions they thought were the best they could make at the given time and circumstance. I can only say - THANK YOU.

Although almost no contact with siblings, my feelings for them and my connection with them is eternal. Bound by our parents and their forefathers our lives are entwined forever. Their personalities have also had an impact on me.

The dutch heritage, the identity, religion and history have played a huge role in who I am and how I view the world.

All my children live Down Under, so they will not be there on birthdays unless I travel to them. Maybe when the grandchildren grow older they may travel and plan to 'pop in' to visit sometime. Now that would be great. The thought and possibility alone is heartwarming.

Looking at extended family - aunts, uncles, cousins all share some common part of my identity. Their involvement in my life need not have been great, yet every sense of belonging stems from 'recognisable traits' which we all have inherited in some form or another. The chefs, gardeners, artists, teachers, photographers and those having entered religious life - can relate to the drive towards these professions held by many. Is it a gene thing? Who shall say.

Friendships, worth their weight in gold -
( read my earlier blog on the subject of friends). True and pure and of long standing. How I treasure those memories and their influences on me. What a wealth of diversity and warmth. I consider them too in my feeling of family. Some even closer than those born into my tree. As far as I am concerned they deserve a spot on my branch. I share their joys, and mourn in their sadness and they mine.

Yesterday I attended the birthday celebration of a family member who turned 89, today I get to share along with many others, the 60th birthday of a dear friend. 

How awesomely blessed is that?

Treasure the family which you have, polish it and keep it shiny and bright. It makes life beautiful!

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