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Monday, December 19, 2011

Life in the fast lane....

     So the holiday season has arrived and for a change I had planned far enough ahead that everything was running smoothly and my life in the fast lane was going at a pace I could manage....until one of life's unexpected events wonderful mother-in-law passed away the night before my husband and I were leaving for a week long trip to DC to celebrate my youngest son's graduation from Georgetown University and my middle son's swearing in as an attorney for the State of Maryland in Annapolis, MD.  Through the grief we adjusted our trip to include the services in Pittsburgh for three days where all of the family and friends converged to pay tribute and celebrate my mother-in-law's 88 years on this earth and deep abiding faith. 
     It always strikes me that funerals, despite the intrinsic sadness they represent, often provide an opportunity for family and friends to gather and reconnect.  Inevitably, someone makes the comment that "why do we only get together when there is a funeral or a wedding?".  Well, it actually makes sense in an odd way.  Throughout history, families have gathered for big events, whether they be sad or happy makes no difference really.  Our lives seem to take us to places that often don't allow for much more than that unless we commit otherwise, which rarely seems to happen in this day and age of "life in the fast lane".  Despite promises to "stay in touch" days and then months and even years will pass and finally another "event" will happen and once again the cycle will begin and the family will gather together...
     At first thought this seems sad to consider.  But then I began to reflect that in today's world where families are scattered to all the corners of the world it really is not surprising and since there is little we can do that will change that we best make the most of our times together and find additional ways to connect.  In our family many of us are on Facebook and are in the Family Group so we can share with one another there via updates, photos, etc.
       We talk on the phone several times a week, email and Skype as well.  Although this may not be nearly as good as the in person contact, it does help to keep us connected. I find that staying it touch, no matter the vehicle, is the key here. 
     And so our trip was really one of highs and lows for our family but through it all we chose to celebrate the milestones of life...some just beginning, some closing one chapter and starting another but all with an eye to the wonder of life and love and family.  It really drives home (in that fast lane) the true importance of valuing every moment you have together no matter the reason for the gathering...relish it, embrace it, and find joy in every moment you are with one another. 
     Take the time this Christmas season to reflect on the importance of family gatherings to your own well being and as always its importance in managing your RA!

Happy Holidays to you and yours!  Nan

1 comment:

Lana said...

Hi Nan,

I am sorry for loss but even with sadness, we manage to find happiness as we celebrate life. I know that it is hard to lose someone during the holidays. Tomorrow, it will be one year since we lost my brother to cancer. When I think of loss, I think of Emily’s Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” poem. I know that comment: why do we only get together when there is a funeral or a wedding?” and you are absolutely right about how we get so involved in our own lives that we don’t really spend enough time with one another. That is what makes losing someone so hard. We don’t make the time when they are with us. Congrats on your son’s great achievement and happy holidays to you my friend.