Life Lessons from a Family Reunion
This week my husband and I took a few days off to travel back to where our life together started. We were able to spend some time with my family who still live in Tennessee, as well as a number of other relatives who travelled from various locales for a family get-together. As we crossed state lines and helped prepare food to share with the extended clan, I took a few moments to reflect on why gatherings of this type are sometimes difficult, but oh-so necessary.
- When families are divided by distance, it is easy to forget that we are not alone. Whether we are separated by geography or philosophy, there are people out there who share our DNA, with whom we have a common history, and who can understand us in ways no one else can. It is necessary sometimes, in the busyness of everyday life, to remember we have that connection, and it is usually as easy to access as picking up a phone or connecting to Skype.
- When attending reunions, there may be an awkward moment when confronted with a relative you’re not sure you remember. We all change with time, and those who are far apart may not be aware of the changes. This is becoming less difficult all the time thanks to social media, but the key to overcoming any embarrassment is to embrace the chance to become acquainted all over again.
- It’s always sad to think about the family members who were at the last reunion, but could not make the current one. Of course, family members may choose not to attend for their own reasons, but sometimes cannot come due to situations beyond their control-illness, military duty, or even death. Those are the absences we feel most keenly. We need to appreciate the family we can greet in person, and share thoughts of those that are absent, but still in our hearts.
- Why we should always try to attend: family accepts us as we are. Families are rarely perfect, but even if we don’t always get along, even if we argue or have different values or lifestyles, there is a connection that cannot be duplicated in any other way. We may have to endure teasing, or endless questions or differences of opinion, but at the end of the day they will always matter, and we will always desire that closeness.
I hope you choose to embrace the next chance you have to gather with those you call family.
Thanks for reading,