FAMILY – parents, grandparents, siblings, children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins, and dear dear FRIENDS who just happen to have different parents.
In my mind, when I think of family, I tend to glorify days of old. I imagine people spreading out their table cloths, inviting family and friends for dinner, cooking giant meals, sitting and praying together, and then congregating on their huge wrap-around front porches, Grandpa on his rocking chair, cousin Billy strumming his six string, Grandma and all the females talking while cleaning up the messes, and little kids playing on the ground around the porch.
However, we didn't have a large front porch. All of our grandfathers died by the time I was six, and cousin Billy never played the guitar. I have completely romanticized my childhood. Except for the parts about the women cleaning up (while the men watched football or baseball or threw horseshoes in the back yard) and the kids running around (a common occurrence), the rest of it was pure fiction.
But in thinking about family and friends, I've realized that we often take family and friends for granted. Empty promises – "Let's get together soon," become filled with soccer practice, dentist appointments, work meetings, and a variety of other functions that pull people in every direction but toward the most meaningful situations they could experience.
One day we turn around and retirement swallows us whole. "What happened to my life?" we wonder. Where did it go?
It went to soccer practices, dentist appointments, work meetings, and a variety of other functions that prevented us from truly connecting with loved ones.
Family and friends deserve our love, our affection, our respect, and our attention. And it is up to us to recognize that we need them as much as they need us.
From this day forward I vow to reserve dates in my calendar for my Family and my Friends. I hope I never again hear myself saying, "Let's get together soon" without having a specific date in mind to follow through with our get-together.
I just recently got together with my mother, one of my daughters, and a dear, dear friend of mine. I rarely get to see Nancy, so the day was very special for me. That my mother and one of my daughters were there, too, made it all the more special.
Call your friends. Call your family. Make time to be together. Yesterday I was 19. Today I'm nearing 60. Take time before time takes you – or one of your loved one.
And that completes Day #6 from the A-Z Challenge. Brought to you by the letter, F.
Previous A-Z Challenge blogs:
Amazon Hates Me – Day #1 from the A-Z Challenge
Bored – Why? – Day #2 from the A-Z Challenge
Craziness – Day #3 from the A-Z Challenge
When Your Daughter Develops, DON'T DO THIS! – Day #4 from the A-Z Challenge