Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Some Things I Learned this Summer

"Spend time with those you love. One of these days, you will say either, 'I wish I had,' or 'I'm glad I did". – Unknown

It turns out one of my first loves is my family. The family I created, the family I married into, and the family I was born into, and this year, for the first time in a long time, I had concentrated time with every variation of my family.

At the beginning of July, we enjoyed a long weekend at my brother's house for what we hope becomes an annual event - a family reunion. The last time we all got together was well before the pandemic, so it was time. 

Here are some things I've learned.
Time - The older I get, the more I value time with my family. I come from a large family - 5 brothers and 2 sisters. Somehow, whenever I talk to my siblings, I learn something new. (Note - in the picture above, I just realized my two youngest brothers weren't born yet; there's also an older brother who was not with us then). We may have all grown up in the same household, but what might have been pivotal for me could be a non-event for them. I've learned there were seven different perspectives for each event we experienced. The older I get, the more fascinating this becomes, and the greater my respect for each of us grows. 

Legacy - We played a game where we shared something about ourselves while sharing our names. From generation to generation, there's a commonality in middle names. Someone had an aunt's middle name, and we wouldn't have known until we played that game. Unwittingly, through our names, we carry on the family legacy. But of course, there are many ways that we pass things down from generation to generation.

Connection - When I was growing up, we may have connected by stopping by each other's house or calling on a landline. But the next generation connects via cellphone, social media and following each other's pages. It may seem odd to the older generation, but this is one of the ways the next generation fosters connection. This will differ for each generation, but the point is to connect.

Later in July, I spent a week in Jamaica with the family I married into building on these lessons. 

My summer was bookended by family time, where I absorbed all it means to be family.

God sets the lonely in families. Psalms 68:6

Here's hoping you have a family that bookends you and provides time for you to learn and appreciate them.


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  1. Your reunion and family time sounds amazing. My side of the family is very small, there's me and my brother, plus an uncle. And they all live a long way away. My husband has a large family and we see them a lot. Thanks for linking

  2. I am quite happy with the family I married into and created. My Dad and I have been trying to repair our relationship through the past couple of years.

  3. Nylse, how special your summer was and getting to visit with extended family is so dear. I'm so happy you shared about your reunion with Sweet Tea & Friends October Link up.


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