Yesterday I went to a funeral and it was a lovely service. And of course it was sad. I was especially sad to see people I care about upset. The experience has made me ponder the role of family and makes me acknowledge again how important family is in life.
When I was growing up my father often used to get upset with me wanting to spend time with my friends – potentially at the cost of spending that time with family. Fundamentally I’m still the same girl because friends are still very important to me. But I also appreciate my family and now I also have my own little family unit– and they give life a new purpose.
The relationship between family members is so unique. The support between parents and children, between brothers and sisters, between cousins and between extended family was evident everywhere I looked yesterday. Family are there for the good times and the bad. And they give you a reason to hang out with age groups and generations other than your own. Even my three year old will randomly state out loud “…and, I love my cousins”. I’m so grateful that he is getting that experience, and it doesn’t even matter that some of the cousins he loves so much are more than three times his age.
The family at the funeral yesterday was large. Seven children and over 20 grandchildren. Many of them played a role in the service yesterday and it was lovely to see them all supporting each other in this time of sadness.
In a way I think it’s sad that families these days are smaller than they were a generation ago. Whilst my Mum came from a small family, my dad had eight brothers and sisters and my in-laws had five and six kids in their families.
Rarely do you see such big families now. Two kids seems to be the norm and I know several families with three, but few (if any) with four children. I can’t imagine the chaos in a house with nine kids!
I’m very lucky to have such a supportive family and am grateful to have such a good relationship with my in-laws too. And then there is my wonderful husband and my very special kids plus all of my extended family. I think about my family often, including those relatives I don’t get to see that often. In fact I’m going to go and get in contact with some of them right now…