Does it seem like the only things I write about are family and funerals? It does to me. I guess funerals are just a fact of life, especially as you and your friends and loved ones get older. And I can't make any excuses about my preoccupation with family. My family is everything to me. Maybe there are people for whom this is not so, but I don't think I know too many folks like that.
I think you learn the importance of family as a child - from the way your parents treat their parents and their siblings and the way they talk about and interact with aunts and uncles and cousins. And of course from the way your parents and other relatives treat you. I recognize that not all children grow up in homes like that, where family is a priority, indeed, the priority. I am fortunate that I did!
Then you grow up and have children of your own and then grandchildren, and it's your turn to teach the importance and blessings of family. Of course there are other things and responsibilities that compete for our time and commitment - jobs primarily. But to me, there is no excuse for making family feel like they come second in our lives.
And when you get to be my age and you feel time passing so swiftly, you just want to spend as much of that time as possible with the people you love and who love you. So yeah, family is important and we've crammed a lot of family time into this summer so far - the family reunion on the west coast, trips to see my Mom and sisters as often as I can, visits with the grandsons, your grown children, and the nieces and nephews. Even the trip to SC this week for my Aunt's funeral was an opportunity, however brief, to reconnect with extended family who don't live close enough to see as often as we might like. In that way, funerals become almost like family reunions. Then again, so do weddings and they are a lot more fun!