Reflections On The Journey
|Posted on August 29, 2022 at 9:10 AM|
Monday Meditation – Family 8/29/2022
Family is important. We are all members of God’s family, of course, but we also have individual families which shape our lives.
It’s interesting to see how my definition of family has changed over the years. When I was growing up, it seemed my family consisted of just my mom, my dad and me. My mom had relatives, but we didn’t see them very often because most of them lived in other states. I did not have the privilege of having grandparents active in my life like many of my friends, because my maternal grandparents were gone and my dad’s family lived in Sweden. The photo attached to this blog shows my great grandmother Teresa and my grandmother Frances (both of whom I never met) and many other family members.
I did enjoy when we got together with my mom’s siblings and cousins, usually on summer trips to North Dakota. They graciously welcomed us, and I experienced what it was like to live with a larger family and on a farm. I got to share twin beds with my cousins, I learned how to ride a horse, and we spent countless hours (and late nights) playing the card game Liverpool Rummy.
When I got married, I experienced a new kind of family – having a husband changed things up! In-laws and more “new” relatives became a part of my family. We now had to split time with the two sides for holidays and other celebrations.
Then the family expanded further as we had children, and later two of my sons got married and had their own children. The delights of being a grandparent now added to my sense of family, as well as new in-laws and their extended families. It was nice to be welcomed and to participate in their gatherings too.
This past weekend my husband and I enjoyed a trip to South Dakota and Nebraska, where we got to spend time with his sister, her children and grandchildren, and some of my husband’s cousins. This was an opportunity for me to get to know those cousins a little better, as previously I had only met them briefly at gatherings. We enjoyed looking at old photos and reminiscing about their lives and that of their parents.
One sad part of the visit was my husband’s family realizing that there was much of the older generations’ stories that they did not know. Where had their parents lived and worked before they got married? What ever happened to some of the other aunts and uncles and cousins with whom they had lost touch?
I pondered some of the same things about my own ancestors – when I was younger I had never thought to ask my mom and dad a lot of questions about their pasts – I did know some things, but certainly not everything. Therefore, my children will not know those things either.
Many people are now doing research into their heritages. My husband and some cousins on my mom’s side have done extensive digging and have compiled much information, at least about the names and dates of those who had come before. While I don’t possess the same drive to do that kind of research, I do appreciate their efforts, and hopefully the future generations will also be grateful for that information.
Who is in your family and extended family? What do you now about them? It’s never too late to start learning about your heritage. If you are blessed to have an older relative still around, perhaps you can ask them some questions about their past. They may relish talking about their time as a child and be grateful to you for your interest. If you have old pictures which are not labeled, see if you can get someone to help identify who is in the picture. Who knows, you might be blessed by learning something valuable or exciting which you can cherish.
Have a blessed Monday!
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