is a circle of strength
and love. With every birth and
every union the circle grows.
Every joy shared adds
Every crisis faced together
makes the circle stronger.
I have these words in callligraphy and framed on my piano, surrounded by family wedding photos. In my extended family every word of this is true. I was reminded of it this past weekend when we gathered at my sister's to celebrate the birth of the newest family member - a girl, my sister's grandchild and her namesake.
At the gathering were my brother and his wife, who will celebrate their first wedding anniversary this week, and my nephew and his bride-to-be. Many of our group weren't able to be with us for the gathering, but we felt they were with us in spirit.
We have rejoiced in the additions to our family this year, and we have also grieved together. The patriarch of our family, my father, died in March. I wrote about how we strengthened each other in a post that week called "In the midst of grief blessings abound".
Joy, love, strength - these are the gifts my family has given me. G.K. Chesterton said that "gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." I am filled with gratitude.
The family gathering this past weekend.
The family gathering to celebrate my dad's 89th birthday in September 2009.
I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich. ~
Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford, "Identity Crisis," M*A*S*H