After the death of parents it seems to be more difficult for families to get together for things like holidays and other special events. Without Mom or Dad to host or encourage their families to remain close, the ties slowly tend to loosen and let go.
This past weekend my side of the family attempted to hold a Christmas gathering. Way back in September my sister sent out a mass email to the entire family setting the date, place and time and hoping for a good response. She was successful in getting about 50 percent of the clan to attend including five of the six children and four of the eleven grandchildren plus three of Mom and Dad's great-grandchildren. It was a bit disheartening, especially for those who traveled a long distance, but we managed to have a good time anyway.
One of our focuses for the weekend was to remember and honor our parents and grandparents. This particular weekend happened to be the tenth anniversary of Mom's death and next month will be the second anniversary of our father's death. With strong emotion and heavy hearts we reflected on them and the lives they gave each of us. We continue to miss them and through gatherings such as this we honor their lives and memory.
It is so important for each of us to continue to make the sacrifices and commitment to keep in contact with extended family. This could be through attending these types of events, staying in touch via phone, letters or emails, or actually taking the time to stop in and visit your relatives. In this way you keep memories alive while creating new and you honor your ancestors through your love and support of each other.
I hope that throughout the coming year you will have many opportunities to get together with family members through things like reunions, weddings, and holidays. When those times come, I encourage you to make the effort to stay in touch and attend whenever possible. What better way to honor your father and mother or even grandfather and grandmother than to keep their love alive and growing.