Family Matters

Hey y’all!   How is everybody?  I’m sure enjoying this cooler fall weather!  Love the jackets and fleecy things that are so soft and comfy.  Even the dog is cuddly!  So, grab a cuppa something and find a comfy spot.  Today is a dark chocolate and orange flavor hot chocolate kind of day.  Extra cocoa powder, a drop or two of orange extract and some extra sweetener, and I’m a VERY happy camper!  My grandson turns two this month.  We’ve been celebrating all weekend!

I’m so blessed by so many ‘family’ things!  This weekend really brought it into some focus for me again.  Friday night, my younger daughter and her hubby came up from where they live.  Saturday, we ended up at the clinic getting her treated for a bad case of poison ivy.  Then we visited an aunt in another town and had lunch with her.  Then we drove another hour to a birthday party!  What a party!  We had family and friends, and food.  We had drama, excitement, laughter.  We had balloons and presents.  This little guy is very much loved.   It was a great time!  The other grandparents hosted the event.  They have a gift for hospitality and their home is always open for all of us.  Even my old dog Sadie is invited to a lot of gatherings there.

One really funny memory involved my mom.  Sean’s Granny knew my mom had cats.  But she was also ornery as could be and loved to tease.  My mom, the original shy, prim and proper was a fairly easy target.  Every time they saw each other, Granny asked Mom, ‘How’s your pussies?’  Mom would turn 19 shades of red while Granny just laughed.  We’ve lost them both to heaven at this point, but they’re still with us in spirit, I know!

With a bit of encouragement from a friend, I found an earlier Mass for Sunday morning, and when I got home the family met at the Zoo for the grandson’s continuing party.  It’s entirely possible to do all the family things and still make it to church if we want to.  Yes, it was inconvenient to get up so early, and to attend a different church.  We were technically a few minutes late getting to the zoo.  But it was worth it!

What a time we all had at the zoo!  ‘Star Wars’ characters were all over the place.  There was a caricature artist on hand.  Trystan rode the carousel several times.  We spent time with his beloved penguins, and the sea lions performed to our delight.  The polar bear was playing with his 55-gallon barrel, and was a sight to see.  Everybody got multiple hugs and kisses from the birthday boy.  Of course we went to the gift shop, where T acquired his first set of bat wings.  (After his party, they were teasing his mom that her whole house now had a new decor:  Batman)  We had a great lunch there in the zoo.  A little pricey, but the burger was good and the cheesecake was perfection!   On the way home from the zoo, we made a stop at the clinic to get my son-in-love treated for his case of poison ivy before they left town and went back to work this week.  Family matters.

It felt good to be with family all weekend.  We laughed, we protested, we fussed a bit.  But we loved.  That’s the important thing.  We loved!

You may be sitting there saying, “This is making me sad… I don’t have family where I am!”   You may be the last surviving member.  You may have transferred to a new city for a job or schooling.  Maybe you simply moved across town far enough that the normal dynamic has been disrupted.  You may be feeling very alone, maybe afraid, maybe depressed.  But believe me, there’s hope!

I’m in that very situation, myself, right now.  I’m moving 16 hours away from my family to go to school.  I had three choices:  forget it, and stay here.  Go, and be alone and miserable; depending solely on Skype and cell phone technology.  Go, and seek out new friendships – and family.  We all have a larger family, the family of God!  I checked out three different churches when I was up there a couple of weeks ago.  I’m confident that I found the one that will be my new church family.  And while I’m considerably older than most of the students on the college campus, I was received with open arms and given the gift of true friendship by a couple of them.

Are you feeling alone?  Find a pastor or priest.  Let them help you discover some new friends, maybe some new ‘family’.  They will be more than happy to help.  Because especially with God, Family Matters!

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