Thursday, June 26, 2014

Walking in Somone Else's Shoes

It was my grandparents 90th birthday party this weekend.  Sometimes I'm sure people wonder why family reunions are so important.  Why once a year or once every few years we go to such efforts to gather together and talk with the people that share our bloodline.  I was reminded again this weekend the value of it beyond sitting around and talking about diseases in our genetics....

As I was walking my grandpa out to his car after the party he said, "This is all that matters.  And I don't know how but I must have done something right."  Not his amazing career as a rocket scientist, not his ocean view house or money, and not even the number of degrees he's earned.  Family is all that matters.

I've been thinking of way to put into words why family is so important.  Through thick and thin, year in and year out family is there.  They are the only people that will undoubtedly be with you through this whole journey we call life.  As I was thinking about all my family, all 85 first cousins, 27 aunts and uncles, 7 grandparents, 6 siblings, and 2 parents, the longer we travel along this path I think I can understand God's plan better through them.  Our purpose of this life.  As we walk down the street, skim through Facebook, or even sit in church sometimes I think we have this crazy notion that there's such a thing as an easy life.  Some people have it so together, so perfect.  This is why I love a family like mine so much.  Sure some might suggest that we know too much of people's business or that I care too much.  The running family joke is.... if you want to know anything about anyone ask Kristin.  (My excuse is that since I was single all I had was family so I attended everything!)

But what I love about family is you know.  You can look around and know the trails, know the tragedies, know that everyone's life is being challenged.  Everyone goes through hard things and the wonderful part is we get to be a part of the triumphs, the successes, the growth.  Over and over again being a part of a large family has taught me how no one has it easy.  No one isn't struggling.  Everyone is just doing their best to make it through the day.

Every time family gets together I am reminded of that.  It is good for me.  It helps me be a little less critical, a little less judgmental,  and a lot more kind, forgiving, and loving.

I guess what I am trying to say is sure we'll never actually get to walk in the shoes of another, but with family, it's so much easier through the years, through the tears and all the joy, to understand and see how although challenges are different, although trails and tragedies are vast and wide in the end we are all the same, trucking along on the same road trying our darndest to survive.  And for that I agree with my grandpa.  In the end, all that matters is family.

Sadly, I didn't take any pictures this weekend so here is a picture from their 85th
birthday party 5 years ago....
Sure love them.

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