This is my family – not a recent photo – but it remains the same today as it was two years ago when this picture was taken. We were celebrating Christmas and all of us were together for the first time in quite a while.
Yesterday, we had another family day of celebration, but our South Carolina family was not here to join us. Their family is sort of spread out too right now, with husband/dad, Brian working in Orlando – wife/mother Amy living at the family home in S. Carolina, eldest son, Jordan teaching English in S. Korea and youngest son, Josh, attending Clemson University. The rest of us were celebrating Paul’s birthday from earlier this month and the engagement of our only son and his future wife.
More than any physical celebration, we were celebrating family. Family is defined as a group of people related either by birth, by marriage or other relationship. We can’t choose our immediate family – we have to accept each other with all our flaws and abilities and still love each other in spite of that. As our immediate family grows we move out of the nest and sometimes far away from each other, but when the family is solid, we come together after long periods of time and it’s as if we never were apart.
Family is so much more than a group of people that cohabitate. It is a bond that stretches through the ages. As we look back at our heritage we can see a clear pattern of patience, love, persistence, hard work, having each other’s back, working towards the same goals. When we go way back in our ancestry to our original parents, Adam and Eve, we can see the progression of problems that occurred once paradise was lost. Still family seems to survive the test of time in spite of the darkness of sin.
As I look at my family, I am proud of their accomplishments. I think back to their growing up years and what they’ve become and I can’t believe that I actually had a part in that. They may be nearby or far away, but I’m confident that each of them has been prepared for raising their own families and sharing their lives with them. They’ve been wise in their choices for those they’ve given their hearts too and we are indeed blessed by our extended family as well.
“In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.”
— Alex Haley