Elizabeth (my Mom) with Santa and Donner, 2013
So, you asked me to explain family to you. Below are my reflections this night. I’d be glad to rewrite a part if it comes across stilted. Love to you, Lee
For me, my family is a collection of people who are at the core of my understanding of life: people with whom I have grown up or who have helped me to grow into the person I have become. Some are my natal (birth) family members and some are my selected family members, i.e., the Wendell’s and a few special friends along life’s journey – who I can turn to in times of joy and questioning, because I know I am loved unconditionally, and they will listen and not judge and offer input or reflect back to me what I am saying or feeling.
My family is spread out across the US and though we can’t visit with one another very often in person, we do stay in touch all the time now through e-mails, phones, Facebook, and other means of communication – to stay up to date with one another’s activities, but mainly to just stay in touch and see what is unfolding through time for each other.
I have learned how to navigate through challenging moments, and moments of deep love and gratitude. I would not be who I am fully, without my family connections and having had the freedom to explore life in the context of those who will love me through no matter what and with whom I don’t have to explain everything.
The internet means of communication have certainly helped us to ‘see’ one another more frequently than our traveling time would allow. I am most grateful for my siblings and my mother and my extended family through whom I have deepened in my understanding of the various aspects of love, forgiveness, and compassion.
Rev. Lee Ireland is a pastor for the United Church of Christ near Hartford, Connecticut. She is my big sister, too. I am blessed to share family with Lee, whose compassion and keen insight on life has been…as with all Family, “priceless!” Thanks with Love, Lee.
I welcome your Family Better Endings insights, Comments or stories.