Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A happy family is but an earlier heaven. George Bernard Shaw

Today is Family Day, a day to celebrate our families, or is it just a paid vacation day? I doubt if we took a poll that families are any better with Family Day than they were without it. Just like Valentine’s Day doesn’t strengthen our relationships. We are no more in or out of love on Valentine’s Day than any other day. It puts pressure on people to be romantic. What is being romantic? Haven’t you noticed how high the prices for flowers get on Valentine’s Day? If you love me you’ll pay $50.00 for flowers that usually cost $20.00. Is that love? Our relationships are as good or as bad as they are. Relationships ebb and flow. Does how romantic Valentine’s Day was indicate anything.?

Nor will what we have planned for Family Day be an indication of how our family is.  Days that cause us to reflect on our lives and the people in them may be a good thing. We should be grateful every day for the people who share our lives. If our relationships work we make our family feel loved every day. We share warm, loud, and wonderful dinners full of laughter.

Not being able to get together is one of the hardships right now. Long phone calls full of laughter take the place of in-person meetings. We can have telephone calls where we might talk about things we wouldn’t talk about in person.

One of the things that days like Family Day and Valentine’s Day remind us of is the importance of people in our lives. While they are still part of our life we can enjoy their presence. We don’t know from day to day or year to year who will be able to come to the next family gathering, or even if we will. We can live life fully while we live. We can love our family as fiercely as we can and encourage them to forge their own family.

The leader of my writer’s group says she knows she did a good job when she sees her grandchildren with their children. Societies that work are based on strong families.

There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues… are created, strengthened and maintained. Winston Churchill

My son tells me one of his friends is now working in a Youth Detention Centre. Has every one of those kids been failed by their family? A few years ago I met a woman in my writing group, she wrote a book, “Young Lives on the Line.” She spent years working in Youth Detention Centers. What is the difference between kids who get into trouble, and troubled kids? We all did things we shouldn’t have, didn’t we? But, we didn’t all end up in trouble. Resilience was built into our families and our lives, so we could have second and third chances. If one job didn’t work out we had people we could turn to while we regrouped and went in a different direction.

Some of the Youth in that detention facility will have strong families that will be able to help that errant youth get on the right path. They aren’t all hopeless cases in there. Some of them will do the time, get out, then go on to lead happy and productive lives. Some of them won’t. What is the difference between the one’s that will go on to better lives, and the ones that will go on to worse ones? It might be simplistic to say that the family is a big part of the equation, but I believe the family is the main part of the equation.

If it is true that we pass blessings or curses to our families then we must choose which of these we’ll pass down. It means we must deal with our demons so our families don’t have to deal with them further down the line. My Grandfather didn’t allow strong drink in the house because his stepfather was mean when he drank. Did he stop a curse that would have gone down the generations?

This gives me pause as I think about what behaviors, mindsets, or actions could be negative and passed down to the generations to come. What do I need to work on that will be a blessing to the rest of my family? What inheritance do I want my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to get from me? How will their lives be easier or harder because of the decisions I’ve made and actions I’ve taken?

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Romans 12:9

Family and friendships are two of the greatest facilitators of happiness. John C. Maxwell

Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter. Brad Henry

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Young Lives on the Line: You Can Make a Difference by [Norma Nicholson]

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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