(bottom left to right) Son, Bob Boecher – Paul Boecher – Kathy Boecher – Daughters, Joy Oquist & Amy Pentti. (Top left to right) Granddaughter, Kaeli Oquist, Bob’s fiancee, Janet Stroup, Grandson, Josh Pentti, Amy’s husband, Brian Pentti, Joy’s husband, Tom Oquist and grandson, Jordan Pentti.
The holidays are designed to bring us closer together. Most families see this as a time of traveling, meeting airline schedules, possibly rearranging plans, preparing wonderful food, gathering, conversation, playing board games and things like that. Others dread the thought of getting everyone under one roof, finding things to talk about, reliving past experiences, eating too much, overspending, a time of depression and anxiety and trying to avoid talking about politics.
My family has been a tightly-knit unit for many years. Looking back over those times always makes me wonder how that all came to be. Sometimes when you go through the actual raising of a family, you question your ability as parents. You pray that your kids will make the right choices. You try to instill a good work ethic, morality, consistency and love. When God is the head of the family, you have the true glue which binds you together.
Of course, it’s not always a bed of roses. The things of this world always seem to seep in no matter how hard you try to avoid them. Being a Christian is not going to guarantee perfection, but it will make the rough spots bearable. God’s plan is always for our good.
In our family photo this year, we were all available to be photographed together. This hasn’t always been possible, since our oldest daughter hails from South Carolina – their oldest son just returned from S. Korea and a four-year adventure teaching English. Their other son is now employed in North Carolina. Our other two children live in Minnesota. Sometimes one or another is missing from the family photo. Our son has photoshopped the missing person in, but it is nothing like the real thing.
This year has been a wild ride for us medically. When you turn 80 things happen and you wonder how many more of these family photos will be taken, with everyone present. We don’t know the answer to that question, but we can treasure the moments of this Christmas, knowing that one day we’ll all be reunited in our heavenly home. Saying goodbye can be difficult, but each goodbye leads to another hello – to precious hugs – to irreplaceable memories and love everlasting