A Family For All Seasons

It was before the Christmas holidays when I last sat down to create a new post. And, over these past few weeks, our family has shared good ‘times’ together on multiple occasions. As always at Christmas we were fortunate enough to have put on a wonderful spread of hor d’oeuvres, entrees, sides, breads, candies, desserts, coffees, sodas, and teas for 40–relatives (including five generations:  3 children and their spouses, 9 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins, and the gift of both living parents), friends, and neighbors–for this is our annual ‘immediate family’ family reunion. Our son’s tree looked amazing–our daughter-in-law is a pro at decorating, cooking, and entertaining–we are so blessed.  And, to take it further, our three children remain together with their true loves and companions in life and we, too, love their spouses like they were our own.  At the very least, this season in my life is one of those extraordinary ‘times’ for me where I can openly express my love and am openly loved in return.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…1

 And, without going into details of each and every occasion, let me just say that these multi-generational gatherings and simple ‘times’ as a family is what doing life together is all about–regardless of the seasons among us.

For example, our son’s household takes me back to earlier times in my life where multiple generations lived together and worked together inside and outside the home and I was ‘the small child’.  My uncle and my grandfather worked outside to raise animals and grow food.  Now, my son’s father-in-law, and grandsons and he work outside to raise animals, grow food, and to do maintenance and repairs on the house and vehicles. One of his sons also carpools to work with him Mondays through Fridays. A modest apartment downstairs is shared by this grandson and his small family of three. In a room not too far from them is Pop Pop–his maternal grandfather.  And upstairs in his own room is another of our 20 something grandsons who works as a server while he seeks to find his niche in life.    But, when dinner is ready, all the seasons and times come together, including our newest family members–our eight month old great grandson who is the most satisfied and adorable baby, held by his mom.  In this time of his season, this babe hasn’t a care in the world because he is surrounded by warm and loving people who are committed to and supportive of each other.   He knows yet nothing more of this world. And, to have borne a son who sits at the head of this beautiful family, both humbles me and makes me proud.  We acknowledge that these circumstances truly were made possible for us by the grace of God in his fitting time and that all our family is certainly living in a special time and season of all of our lives.

And we acknowledge that God blessed us further this year. We rejoiced that our family’s patriarch and matriarch joined in on our festivities–even if only to absorb the good times being had by other family members from their seats on the couch.  And for this we give thanks because He has affixed the “times” when man is “to be born,” and “to die”…2 And yes, we all are very aware that we need to prepare as best we can for that season and time when we will have only our fond and loving memories of these two very special family members.

But for now, we give thanks and pray that our Lord gives his grace to all mankind, for in God’s Grace each dawn is a gift and everyday a miracle…

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

1There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

6a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

1Ecclesiastes 3:1
2Ecclesiastes 3:2

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