Monday, December 15, 2008

We Are Family

Our family had a lot to celebrate together this weekend. On Saturday, the grandchildren saw Santa Claus visit our community and participate in all the festivities surrounding that event.

My son, Dave and his beautiful wife, Amy, became members of the Palisade Methodist Church. I was so proud and honored to be asked to stand up with them, during church services. My nephew, Shane, joined the church, also. We celebrated the occaison with a delicous family dinner afterwards in the church hall.

We met after that to spend the afternoon at Jared and Missy's, for our family day. We started this three years ago, when their beautiful baby daughter, Maya, passed away in the night, when she was exactly 2 months old. This anniversary on December 14th is difficult, so we face it together. Jared prepared a prime rib roast that was melt in your mouth scrumptious. The kids helped decorate angel sugar cookies and they had a blast doing it.

I felt incredibly blessed as I looked at each member of my family gathered together, playing games, rolling out cookie dough, laughing and talking, holding the babies, Jacob and Sawyer, just being together. I have such an appreciation for each person in our family and how they enrich my life so much, and how much easier it is to face this anniversary every year as a family, to not be alone. In many ways, it proves that sharing joy with your loved ones is multiplied, but the sorrow is divided when we come together. We need each other, especially on this day.

In past years, we have taken a few moments to go to the cemetery to lay some flowers on her grave, and to release balloons in her memory. I've grown to love those small observances, that mark for us, that we remember Maya. The awful blizzard yesterday, made that not only impractical, but dangerous, because of the sub-zero wind chill. I was more than happy to be where it was bright and warm, with family.

I am so thankful for the new good memories for this date, and the joy I saw on Dave and Amy's faces in church yesterday. I am so thankful to belong to church and blood family. I am thankful for each new member of our family this year, Sawyer and Jacob, and new baby B, but I cannot forget Maya.

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