Monday, September 23, 2013

We Are Family

"His special people"
Deuteronomy 26:18

I spent a very unusual day today.  In a good way.

Remember my aunt that died a few weeks ago?  Today was her memorial service.  It wasn't a funeral, per se, but a gathering of those who loved her, and those who loved those who loved her.

My parents hosted (it was my father's sister who died) but there were so many who contributed to the day.  My cousin and his wife brought photos and mementos to display, my sister bought several potted plants to beautify the house and yard, someone else brought orchids for all the tables, and many, many other someones brought food.  Cold cuts, rolls, fruit, veggies, coleslaw, pasta salad, baked beans, drinks, pie, cake, and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting.

Oh, and my father and my uncle barbecued burgers and dogs. 

Did I mention there was a lot of food?

And there was candy.  Apparently my aunt loved candy, so there was a "candy bar" set up, with several varieties that she loved, and there were baggies so everyone could take home a bag.  I've seen this done at weddings, but never at a memorial service.  It was very fun.

The event was special for a couple reasons ~ it was fun for all of us to get together.  I don't see these cousins very often, so it was nice to see them again, get caught up, and appreciate how big their kids have gotten.

It was also special to be celebrating my aunt.  Candy that she had loved, samples of her artwork, photos, mementos of different parts of her life.  It was fun to get glimpses of her as my cousin's mother, and my father's sister.

I was really tired for a lot of the day.  Not sleepy really, but I'd been out of town for a few days with my Awesome Girl, so I'd been out of my routine.

And my knee hurt.  I think that a couple days ago I tweaked it or twisted it, and any time I tried to bend it, it reminded me that it was there, you know?

But I wasn't really thinking about my issues for most of the day.  I was helping my mom in the kitchen, and helping my cousin get the food out, and introducing myself to people I didn't know, and chatting with people I did know.  And I realized, at the end of the day, how difficult it is to think about myself, when I'm thinking about someone else.  I mean, I wasn't talking about my aunt all day, but every conversation I had was because of her.   She was, in a way, in the backyard, and in the family room, and in the kitchen, and in the living room.  She was in photos and in fun bags of candy, and in her beautiful paintings. 

Family is about connections.  It's about what we have in common... what we share.  It's easy for me to believe that God can work events in my life out for my good, and the good of everyone else involved, if they are living in obedience to Him.  But it's nice to think of God working out the people in my life, too.  It's nice to think that He doesn't just bless us through people who cross our paths for a season, but also through those with whom we share those connections of family. 

For better or worse, our families are a big part of why we are who we are.  But the family we are born into is not an accident.  Just another part of His plan for us. 

~ "So now faith, hope, and love abide,
    these three; but the greatest of these is love" ~
1 Corinthians 13:13

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