Family. One of many things we come face to face with during the holiday season. I got to thinking about my family and the challenges that go along with family. If you know my family, you will know that I am not using actual names or personas. I am making this up to make my point. Let’s just pretend for a minute. These are the family members who will be showing up.
Aunt Betty is extremely religious and quotes scriptures, as a method to correct any “wrong” opinion that is voice. Tongue clicking is also not uncommon.
Cousin Jack he has spent the last six months in prison. No one talks about the actual charge but it has something to do with sexual misconduct.
Uncle John is a minister down at the the local community church in the neighborhood. He is active in the community and trumpets mostly conservative causes.
Uncle Clark and Aunt Marie, Aunt Marie will do most of the talking. She is personable and funny, a joy to have at any party. Uncle Clark is relatively quiet but is quick to help with chairs, set up of any kind, dishes, or cleaning up spills. He looks for ways to serve so he is the one that will fill up a drink or find a chair for someone who needs it.
Cousin Laila, she is a park ranger. A strong activist for the environment with a lot of food allergies. She is well educated and speaks several languages. She is bringing her partner Lizzy.
Cousin Truman, is in his 50’s with downs syndrome. He is not vocal and is difficult to communicate with but is happy all the time and willing to interact with you if you give him a little extra attention.
Grandma Vera came over from Sweden when she was a little girl and wants everyone to do well in school, so she will quiz you with multiplication facts randomly. She is in her upper 90’s but easy and fun to talk to, although she repeats herself often.
I could continue this list but I think this will make my point. I once heard my daughter say about her sister, “I wouldn’t even be friends with her if we were not related!” The truth hit me hard. We don’t pick our relatives but we do have to get along with them. Everyone belongs. Everyone deserves a seat at the table.
As I was pondering our upcoming Thanksgiving dinner, I recognized that family is a place were you belong no matter what, no matter who you are, or what happened in your past.
it is a place where you belong. It is a special place where you get the rare privilege to sit next to people you would not even be friends with if you were not related.
It is a chance to interact with that Aunt who votes differently than you do. It gives you an opportunity to hear your cousin’s passion and listen to your Uncle’s grievances. It is a chance to slow down and experience love from your non-vocal cousin and run through your multiplication fact with your Grandma.
Family where we are all loved and we all belong!