Family Ties

Sharon, Ray, Ron, LyndaHaving just returned from a week visiting family, my priorities are reinforced: the past, the present and the future of family is what matters.

It was a pleasure-packed trip. Not only did I get to see where my granddaughter lives during this year of college, I spent  hours with some of my siblings. Sisters and brothers cause can some of my greatest discomfort and also my greatest joys. Together we dig the deepest, scream the loudest, cry the hardest and laugh the most.

For a week I basked in the comfort of family history being made. The meals, the walks, the aimless talks will become a part of the family lore the next time we are together. Family time is like wearing comfortable clothes.

I could blabber on with the secure knowledge that if I weren’t loved in spite of myself, at least I couldn’t be discarded. I am too much a thread in the weave of this fabric of our years together. I am vital to the give and take that wraps us in this amorphous package whose ribbons are sometimes stretched to their limits of endurance but are never broken. Someone is always there to make it pretty again if it unravels.

In both of my families (my husband’s and my own) I am struck, too, by the synthesis of who we are with those who have gone before us. We share rueful stories of our parents who are gone. We miss our sisters. We mourn our lost child. And still, those who have passed are with us. Their memories are a sense of being that plumps out our reminiscences. Their names pop easily into our conversations, bringing our past into the present joy of seeing each other.

This is a comfort to me. It lends a continuity to life. When I am gone, I will still be at the table with my family.



  1. We have a famous song that was sung by a mystic centuries ago, that goes something like this in trnslation. The family till the house, the wife till the street, the son till the crematorium, but who will be with this body till the last? As morbid as it may sound, the house and the family are inextricably tied together in our lives. The spouse and the children come later but are in some ways more important in the scheme of things. But at the end of it all, we come alone and alone we go.

    Having that thought out of my system, I can tell you that I am like you a family man. Both my late wife’s and mine are very dear to me and despite many family political upheavals, the relationships have remained strong and binding and our reunions too are much looked forward to and enjoyed.

    I believe that this is one aspect of human life that is universal in its application and practice.


    • Yes, I think we are fortunate that our families remain strong through hardship and good times. Not all are so lucky. I also agree that we ultimately are alone in death. I do believe that part of our immortality is what we have left to those we love in the way of memories (and in the case of descendants), as well as hereditary traits. It is always so interesting for me to see my father, for instance, when my sons talk or move in a certain way.


  2. I love how you invest in your family ties and take an interest in their lives! My own family is very small (I don’t have siblings and neither have my parents), and the situation with Peter’s family is complicated because his mom rejects me. I wish there were more family bonds in my life!


    • I’m sorry, Kath. I hope that Peter’s family appreciates who you are soon. And, if not, I hope that the two of you can expand good friends into an emotional family. I have known people who do that. Sometimes “friend families” are the best. xxoo


  3. WONDERFUL post! Family reunions, get-togethers, and even short visits do much to remind us who we are in relation to where we come from and those who’ve known us the longest. My favorite of your many details was “…Together we dig the deepest, scream the loudest, cry the hardest and laugh the most.” SO true.
    Thank you for the reminder.


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