Updated: Jan 31, 2020
Growing up, I remember my brothers picking on me to the point I would fight back, get them in trouble, or both. I did my fare share of picking, as well, and it was a love/hate relationship for as long as I can remember. We all had to deal with each other’s quirks and irritating habits because we were a family. We had to learn to live with each other, and that was that!
As we grew up and moved out of the house to begin our own families, I can recall so many times in those earlier years when we would congregate for holidays, birthdays, and family get-togethers. Even though things were easier between us because weren’t living under the same roof anymore, there was still a lot of nit-picking going on.
Add to the mix all the new spouses that came into the picture – a portrait of that aggravating brother in female form – and you get a whole new list of things to nit-pick and fight about. Silly stuff, really, like who didn’t help with the dishes, or who is favored because of this reason or that.
Now we are all reaching an age of a completely new understanding in life. A time of reflection for all the loved ones we have lost and miss, and of our own mortality, wondering when that fateful day will happen. And because of all the reminiscing I sometimes find myself near the point of tears when we get together.
It happens suddenly... this overwhelming feeling of love builds up inside of me when family is close that I can’t seem to get enough of their presence… like we might not all be there tomorrow so I have to gather all the experiences I can get with them now. It’s almost a greedy feeling… you know like when you really want another piece of that chocolate cake sitting on the kitchen counter, but you already had a piece?
This weekend my Mom moved to the little house we had renovated for her on our property. Some of our family was able to come help, and Mom’s good friend was there too. Par for the course, there was the traditional bickering and poking, razzing and complaining. Regardless, everyone worked together to get Mom’s little house all set up and cozy for her.
I imagine she will be looking for things we put away for many weeks ahead, but it doesn’t matter... Not when you have so many wonderful people in your life that would bust down walls to make sure you were ok and comfortable.
At one point during the move, everyone took a little break to have a bite of chili Mom had made for lunch. I looked around her tiny house at the family that was lounging wherever they could find a spot – floor, chairs, stools. And we were all of the same mindset… get Mom moved and make sure she is comfortable. My eyes watered up at the love that filled her tiny house to bursting and I wished the rest of the family were there too.
Later that evening, the moving party trailed over to our house because Kurt was grilling steaks for everyone. After a hard day’s work, a nice steak dinner sounded pretty darn good, so they settled in around my dining room table amongst my fall decorations, and you would have thought it was Thanksgiving except we weren’t having turkey. The sight made me smile.
Just about everything was on the table when I had to go back to the kitchen for something. I grabbed what I needed and turned back toward my family, and stopped in my tracks. The dishes were being passed around the table, and more poking and family chatter was going on. I just stood and watched them, and my heart swelled with love for all of these people – and the ones that were missing this day.
This was my family, and I don’t know what I would do without them.
It makes me shake my head at all the petty squabbling we wasted so much time on through the years. I guess I have realized this a lot these past few years… how important your family is. I hope they know how much I love them all, and how grateful I am for every moment they have been in my life.
Maybe I will feel different the next time someone pisses me off with a hard jab to the heart, or I've had too much of that chocolate cake on the counter! But for now, I am hopeful that I can hang on to this good feeling instead and enjoy the times we have together.
We all have families. Whether they are blood relatives, or just really good friends who truly care about us. So if you don't already know this, I'd like to tell you now to appreciate the moments… for you never know how long you will have each other.
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