Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Families are like branches on a tree. We grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one. Anonymous

Yesterday we celebrated my mother-in-law’s birthday in a restaurant. As a family, we haven’t been out to a restaurant in a long time. We debated which restaurant to go to but my mother-in-law made the final choice. There were nine of us and our four-month-old grandson. We worried about taking him to the restaurant. But, he was wonderful and our server oohed and aahed over him to the delight of his mother and the rest of us. He’s a beautiful baby but he’s ours and we are just a little biased. Another cute baby showed up at the restaurant with his parents. We had to know how old he was and were told he was six months old. He was also very good while his parents ate their dinner.

It is lovely when we can get together and celebrate milestones. We never know when it might be our last chance to celebrate with someone. We need to take advantage of these special moments in our lives while we can. It’s been a lovely year of celebrating for us. We have one more wedding to attend this fall, our friend’s daughter is getting married.

The circle of life continues and watching our younger generation take their place, getting married, and having babies, lets us know that we as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and society in general have done okay. We have challenges before us, every generation has its challenges, the generations before us will have their challenges but we hope they will meet those challenges and life will continue to improve for most of us.

My mother is not one who longed for the good old days. She and Dad grew up in tough times, the thirties, and then their generation went to war. I look back on the life I’ve been privileged to live. It has been a life of peace and plenty, full of opportunities, but often those opportunities weren’t recognized as opportunities when they presented themselves.

Even though we’ve lived through peace and plenty it doesn’t mean it has been an easy road. What does an easy road look like, and is an easy road what we really want? It seems to me what we’ve thought of as success has been just over the next hill, we’ve never quite attained what we would call success, and I am beginning to think that makes a great life.

The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories. Unknown

Working toward something more than actually attaining it may be where the real joy in life lies. How would I feel if I’ve written the best blog post I could ever write, written the best book, painted the best picture, or given the best speech? Mom and I were talking the other day and counting in our heads the number of her grandchildren, great and great, great-grandchildren. We came up with forty-seven.

Mom was visited by her great-granddaughter and her husband, son, and daughter. They had a lovely visit and the kids are old enough to remember visiting their great, great grandmother. Many of us don’t remember our grandmothers let alone great, and great, great grandmothers.

I saw a post on Facebook saying we are burying the people who kept families together. This has always been the case and the torch has been thrown to the next generation to keep the family together. We need to take up our responsibilities to keep our families together so that our children and grandchildren will continue this tradition. Many of our families are smaller now, but a couple of generations fill a restaurant, house, or backyard for a celebration. It doesn’t matter where we choose to do our celebration, only that we do.

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Leo Tolstoy

It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings. Ann Landers

Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches. Wanda Hope Carter

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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