Family blessings

blogIMG_9695I find myself writing frequently about family because it’s a topic near to my heart. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for the close-knit family I have and it grieves my heart for those who don’t have that blessing.

During the almost 40 years of marriage to the Papa of this empty nest, we lived over half of those years away from our parents and siblings.  So those times we actually were able to spend with our families created special memories we hold dear.

Because of that, we tried our hardest to create a sense of family togetherness with our three children.  We made it a point to attend events together as a family whether it be a Little League baseball game or a musical choir concert.

Papa and I attempted to instill in our three that family means supporting and loving one another no matter what because so much of the time, it was just the five of us alone. Our children’s grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins all lived too far away from us to be part of our daily lives.

Long distance phone calls were the only means we had to stay in touch back then, along with the occasional trips back “home” or when family came to visit us.

So gatherings with the extended family became precious because they were so few.

And now, it seems that history is repeating itself. Two of our adult children and their spouses live several hours away from Papa and me. Again, time spent together is such a blessing – truly something memories are made of – especially now that we have two adorable grandchildren in our family.

This past Easter weekend, Papa and I loaded up the car, left the empty nest, and headed west to our son and daughter-in-law’s lovely home to celebrate the holiday.  Our oldest daughter and son-in-law traveled a couple hours from their home to join us as well. Unfortunately, our other daughter and first little grandchild couldn’t be there with us and their presence was sorely missed.

But we were grateful for the time most of us got to spend together this Easter.

blogIMG_9692

How many people does it take to make a baby smile??

Loving and cuddling our newest grandbaby, snapping family photos, recalling funny family stories, taking a walk as a family to the nearby park, the guys’ skeet shooting outing, sitting together on the deck one evening just conversing, preparing and cooking meals in the kitchen together, attending church to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. 

Those were the highlights of the weekend.  Those moments don’t sound exciting but they fill my heart with such bliss.

And make me feel so very blessed. Isn’t that what a family should be? A true blessing. This family gathering was my special Easter blessing. 

“What greater blessing to give thanks for at a family gathering than the family and the gathering.” ~ Robert Brault

©2017 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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16 responses

  1. Love this post. It makes me sad that around the holidays, there are always so many stories about “how to survive Thanksgiving with your family” etc. Family is the most important part of a holiday or as you said, family is important every day

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your family story echoes mine a million miles away! You have related the situation beautifully on a day when I have been feeling so grateful for the closeness of my children and their children – and us.

    Like

  3. The blessing of a close relationship with your family is a wonderful gift. Those times of being together just enjoying the simple things make such precious memories to hold in our heart. Even when our loved ones cannot physically be with us, we feel their presence all around. So glad you got to enjoy the weekend and be with those you hold dear.

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  4. Lovely. Growing up in a large family where we all lived in the same neighborhood and block, I always had family around. Being a mom of five and grandma of 9 and blessed that they are mostly nearby, I love having family gatherings. My only regret is after becoming empty nesters we downsized our home – but somehow we find the room to all fit in…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is so wonderful that you have your family nearby! And 9 grandchildren? What a joy that must be! Some folks think we are crazy for not downsizing our home, but I remember a dear older friend telling me that she wished she had a bigger home to accommodate all of her grown children and grandchildren for family gatherings. And since 2/3 of ours live far away when they come ‘home’ for a visit, they need a place to sleep so…here we are. Yes, it gets tougher as we age to keep a larger home and property up but it’s worth it for us. Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I truly enjoyed your comment and peeking at your blog too. Be blessed! (And enjoy that retirement when you take it!)

      Liked by 1 person

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