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We arrived at our mountain cabin ahead of the rest of the family, making sure food, games, and supplies were in place.  It was a gorgeous setting and one we felt sure our large family would enjoy.

But this  year would be different from the last five years – one family had suffered a house fire, one had health concerns, and we (hubby and I) had made a life change retiring to the farm.  With so much going on, there wasn’t enough time to plan our usual game/entertainment night.  As it turned out we didn’t miss it at all.

Fortunately, I had downloaded family videos for the past 30 years (all 53.75 hours of them), so I thought someone might enjoy seeing them.  Everyone, from age 5 to 65, laughed, cried, wondered, and reminisced at all the memories our family had created, forgotten, and found again.  Watching the changes we had gone through, remembering those who have preceded us in death, made us all appreciate our family that much more.  By unanimous vote, this year was the best!

As we made the 13-hour drive home, we heard updates of another mass shooting.  Reporters stated the shooter was from a broken home, then cited statistics that 50% of marriages will end in divorce, and 40% of children are being raised without a father in their lives.

Stable, healthy families are the center of strong societies.  The family environment enables an individual’s physical, emotional and psychological development to occur. We learn unconditional love, understand right from wrong, and gain empathy, respect and self-regulation from our families, which enable us to engage positively at school, at work and in society.

I thank God for my family  — it’s a place where imperfect people (like me) can be loved unconditionally.


Proverbs 22:6             “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not depart from it.”


Tagged: family, memories, reminiscing, societal needs, vacation

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