Friday, March 8, 2013

Family


Since November of 2011 when I started this blog, I have not missed a Friday of blogging, until the last two weeks. My mother has been very ill and she has passed on into heaven and that’s why I’ve missed the last two weeks.

I’m not sure what to write. I still have lots of topics about charity and volunteering that I can use, but right now they seem kind of distant. Usually I love writing about people doing good and causes we can support in fun ways.

Today I want to talk about just loving your family and appreciating them. In 20001 we moved back to Florida to be near our families. My husband’s and my family both lived within a few counties of each other back then and they have since moved into adjoining counties.

As a result our then five month old has grown up knowing his grandparents, something I never really got to experience. My family moved from Massachusetts down to Florida before I was born. So, although we did go visit them, I didn’t really know my grandparents.

We live in a mobile and global world. People go off to college and then get a job somewhere that could be far away from their family of origin. I don’t want to make people feel guilty about doing that. We all have dreams and aspirations that sometimes just don’t work out at home. I went off to college, then to Japan, back to the states, and lived a while in Texas before coming back to Florida.

But there are things you can do whether you’re close by to your family or not.

1.       Share memories. When you went to the zoo with your sister, nieces and nephews, what was their favorite animal and who was scared by the giraffe? You can share these memories in person or via one of the other many ways we can now connect.

2.       Some of those ways to connect are through Facebook, Twitter, Skype and the good old fashioned phone, too. When my husband was deployed, I couldn’t wait for our Skype time. I used to even keep small lists of things I wanted to say because I knew we wouldn’t have much time to talk and I didn’t want to forget anything. With far off family members, having a short list is a good idea to keep the conversation going.

3.       Share family traditions. One of our traditions is making a special recipe for Thanksgiving for stuffing that has been passed down from an Aunt in Massachusetts. The last few years Mom hasn’t been able to make the stuffing by herself and it is very special to me that she was able to come to my house and make the stuffing with me. Even if you can’t do that, you can pass family recipes around and do some of the other things you always did at holidays, birthdays or whenever.

4.       Always take photographs and share them. When you do get together, take lots of photos. Last year for Christmas, I made a small scrapbook for each of the grandparents of photos of the family. I had so many photos that I had to give them the extra ones. You can also take photos doing every day things or at special events and send them via phone or email to let relatives in other places keep up with what your family is doing.

There are many more ways to keep in touch with relatives whether you’re far away or close by. Please add your ideas in the comments. Thanks for sharing your ideas and have a good weekend!

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