Thursday, July 10, 2008

Family stories...

Independence Day was a bit subdued for my family this year. There were fewer of us for various reasons. Because there were only four of us for most of the afternoon, we sat around telling stories. Now I have been in the family for almost 27 years and in my youthful ignorance, I thought I knew them all.

I was delighted and sad to find out that I don't. I also didn't take into account that new stories are being made everyday. I was delighted because I love to learn about my family history. I love learning about the failures and successes, triumphs and defeats. I was saddened because I learned things I never would have thought could happen to my family. Of course, I am not going to divulge the private happenings told to me in confidence in a public blog. That would be rude. But I was heartbroken by some of them.

As I sat there and listened to my aunt talk, I wondered if there are stories like these in everyone's family. I think we all assume tragedy doesn't affect our fanilies. We think our families are, if not perfect, then almost perfect. We remeber all the good things but when we find our perceptions of certain parts of our family are not how we had them pictured in our minds, we begin to view them differently. You look at people with new eyes. You understand certain behaviors better. You learn more about how that person thinks and how they really are.

We laughed together and we cried together that day. And I realized I have come to a new appreciation for the people who surround me. They are good people who love each other. I am blessed beyond belief. Next time you are at a family gathering, take time to listen to the people around you. You may learn something interesting. Thanks for reading.

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