As of this writing, March 22, 2007 marks the 104th birthday of my grandfather. It's interesting; I never had the chance to meet my Grandfather Llewellyn Pritchard. He died when my father was a freshman in college; on September 26, 1955. I have always wanted to meet him; to know the nuance of his being; understand his mission. It wasn't until the last decade that I started to know my grandfather; through my father, Llewelyn G. Pritchard.
Like my Grandfather; I too give everyone a nickname; I whistle when I need to calm myself. I also adore the feel of a nice suit, coat and shoes. My Grandfather always dressed to the nines! (Referring to gold of 99.9999999 percent purity) It's funny to me that even though I didn't know him, his legacy lives on in my father and now me.
What my father says most about his father is that he surrounded him with steadfast love. Something that all of my readers know I receive in abundance from my Father and Mother! Our family, as odd as I may seem to think us to be, is one that rally's around each other with that steadfast love. They Make A Difference in Me; and I in them!
I've been thinking a lot about "family" lately! Some of us have great relationships with our families; some don't. Even if you don't have a traditional family unit to call your own, there are perhaps those in your life that you would think of as family! You too can surround your family with that steadfast love. Here are some ways to do that.
Connect with them often. Whether it is by phone, appointment or activity, cultivate that family relationship. I speak daily with my Father, whereas my Mother and I probably speak once a week. Both are important to me, yet each is nurtured differently. I think it's very important to reach out! I find many tend to make the mistake and look for others to seek them out. This may make you wait quite a while. Besides, it sure feels good to step out and touch someone's life; especially a family member!
Invite your family to be a part of your life. Let them know about the daily trials, tribulations, and successes of your life. It is a stretch for some to have people that know them so well; enough to possibly use it against them. For me, I enjoy keeping a somewhat private life; even with my family and dear friends. Your family can remember the roads (both good and bad) you walked on to get to the point in life you now are. They can celebrate the victories you have!!
Promote memory making moments. I have so many. One that comes to mind is shopping with my father in New York. Not only were we dressed to impress, but we had a ball walking all over the city; from one store to another; taking the subway or a cab and finding splendid clothing. To this day, every time I wear my pink Thomas Pink tie, I think of that adventurous memory! For many of us, we are unaware that there are fewer days ahead then there are behind when it comes to our parents. These times are memories that we will cherish as we get older!
Reach out to them in their times of need. Please don't forget about your parents! Show that you care for them. Through the good and the bad, they have been there for you. (I realize that I am not able to say that in everyone's case!) Take some time and show that you are there for their needs as well. It can be a challenging time for a person to adjust to the testing of growing old. Be a consistent model of love in their lives. My Father sends out a weekly packet for each member of the family. It consists of articles, pictures, trinkets and notes; many of which inspire a thought or laugh. They always bring a consistent smile to my face!
Allow them to speak into your life's situations. Although they may remember you when you were less than mature, your family has an insight as to why you do what you do! Perhaps they will know the reason for your passion or drive in a certain area. I recall one night on the phone with my Mother, she and I got to talking about my childhood. She remembered things that I had completely forgotten; memories that highlighted why it is I am the way I am today. Whenever there is a problem or a conflict, I go to my family members and ask them to advise me, leaning on their knowledge of my life.
Whether you have a traditional family or not, these tips can be employed in whatever unit you call family. Make the most of those everyday "Make a Difference moments" with your family!