About a week ago my family and I were together as we celebrated the release of my Dad’s new CD. At the end of the evening a lady approached to inform us that she would be “stalking us”. She went on to explain how the obvious family bond between us touched her heart and she wanted to be a part of that, even from a “stalker’s” position. We all listened intently as she expressed her admiration for what she observed and felt: the unity, love, respect, ties, support, and pride. As we listened I realized her words revealed the absence of the same in her life. At that moment I had a greater and growing understanding of the worth of my family; priceless beyond comprehension.
At the heart of it all there is family! My earliest memories are surrounded by and centered on family. Papa and GiGi, my beloved grandparents, made it a point to teach us the value of family. We celebrated together, traveled together, succeeded together, cried together, and, in the tough times, pulled together. Papa has since gone home to be with the Lord, but his priceless legacy lives on in his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and through his lifelong love, GiGi who still leads the clan. We still celebrate together, travel together, succeed together, cry together, and, in the tough times, pull together. We do not always agree, we are far from perfect but, we are family. And we learned the lesson well, to never lose sight of that unchangeable empowering truth – WE ARE FAMILY!
I am not naïve, I do know there are people who were not raised within the powerful legacy of family; to you I say be encouraged. You can start your own legacy; build the strength of your family. If you start now, one day your children will look back at the strength they gained from family and they will carry the torch to be passed on generation to generation. If you do not start, one day your children will look back without an earnest understanding of the value of roots, of family. You can also build that same close knit bond with friends that are like family to you: the blessing of family is not limited to blood relations.
As Christmas approaches my house is beginning to buzz with activity as we prepare for the family gathering. Let me share one of our great family secrets, we enjoy the preparation as much as we do the event. Laughter, dancing, playing, reminiscing, and love these are the hooks we hang our Christmas ornaments on.
Family… friends… I just cannot begin to imagine what my life would be like without them. Family really is at the heart of it all.