Sunday, November 2, 2014

Article #416 Family Links

A link is something that ties or connects two or more things together in some way.           
Families are full of connections or links among relatives because of their common backgrounds, culture, and experiences. As children grow and leave the home these commonalities can change and evolve. Hopefully there is still a common bond of love and belonging that reaches across this divergence.  

The opportunity came to me recently to have six of my seven grandchildren visit with their parents. Overwhelming but delightful were those rare moments of connecting. Whether it was cooking with my son or the two youngest grandkids sitting on my lap or talking heart to heart with a teenage grand daughter, there were times never to be forgotten that strengthened our linkage. It’s possible for those without children to feel this with extended family: nieces and nephews, siblings and/or friends who can become as close as family. Everyone needs connections to give them stability and purpose in their lives.

            Some of my offspring don’t believe this and avoid our informal reunions. It’s their loss, but ours also as a family. Life is too short not to build and strengthen relationships with others. Communication problems or differences in lifestyles can cause this. It’s heart breaking, but in this modern generation of doing your own thing, traditional families are sometimes looked upon as old fashioned and unnecessary. Individuals without children, single parents, blended and stepfamilies add to the diversity of these relationships, yet there is always a need for bonding and belonging between kinfolk of all ages.

            When links are broken through not marrying, death, divorce or disagreement, there are still connections existing because of shared earlier experiences. Family beginnings can’t be forgotten because of family endings. Relationships are for our learning and progression. We also need links to our roots. Family stories preserved and passed on to our younger generations can give us that sense of continuity, and provide nourishment for understanding our place in our family. If we don’t value the contributions of our progenitors enough to document or record in words, there is a vacuum.
Who keeps the traditions from your family alive? It’s usually the older generation who lived through many experiences that value the lessons of life they were taught by their loving parents and grandparents through example. Maybe it’s time for you to write down  memories of your own life in order to strengthen your family. NEXT TIME: Bridges. 

1 comment:

Jean said...

Excellent post, Lin. I wrote my mother's biography about 15 years ago but can still think of things I wish I'd asked her. Now that she's gone, that valuable information is lost.