Wednesday, January 21, 2015
We went to a wedding on Saturday. One of the familiar phrases in the ceremony rings in my head - "In sickness and in health..." At ceremonies like this, I often remember the vows that Joe and I repeated so many years ago when we became a family, when we numbered only two. Since baby Nora was born last year, our family numbers thirteen!
If I am to write about "the joy of journey as a family," honestly, I need to include the trying times, the upsetting times, the times when health is impaired. We all have those times, and the loving support of family is helpful beyond measure. I know of no better image of encouragement than that of coming alongside one another to share joys as well as loads. With many extended families spread out with miles between, it is not always a relative who can do this coming alongside. Church family, friends, and neighbors may be ones who come with help and a hug.
Three of my five granddaughters have been ill these past few days. Words like "pneumonia, RSV, ear infections, Strep" are not welcome words because they make our little ones very sick. Two of them live near enough for me to offer help. For the baby, it may mean a lap and loving arms to hold. I need to make sure our older girls know I care and that I pray for them, too. Supporting their parents who are trying to juggle busy jobs with the priorities of being good parents is also important. Offering a pot of soup or running an errand or early pick up from school can help. The miles that separate us from family in North Texas limit support to email, phone calls and a note, but there may be times when I am able to go there to help.
Of course, there are seasons when the sickness and offers of help are reversed. Joe has had many surgeries in recent years, and my own health sometimes takes a nosedive. Our family and friends offer hands and hearts. It is all part of our journey.