Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Friends and Family

If you've been reading Out of My Hat since its beginning, you've read more than one post about how much I love my family.  In spite of the miles that now separate us, the differences in religious beliefs, the extreme political differences, the healthful life practices and the not so healthful ones, we are family!

I've always felt that we have been unusually blessed in this area. I can't explain why God has favored us, but I definitely believe that he has.  I know of far too many families that don't get along and have heard many more stories of hurt and hatred between siblings or in parent/child relationships.  At kids' camps, I hear from kids that don't know where one of their parents are and kids that stress about family issues that 9-year olds shouldn't have to deal with.

So maybe it's understandable that I get excited when I hear stories about awesome families.

This past weekend, I've discovered another such family.  Actually, it's an extension of MY family; a side of my family that I have never met. With my mom having moved here (the USA) from the Philippines, there is a side of my family that I've had little to no contact with.  When I was very young, I met my grandparents and my mother's youngest brother. One of her two sisters lived in the States and I met her, her husband and her two sons (it's been many years and I have not kept in contact with my cousins). My mother's oldest sister had her 80th birthday this past week.  She (and all of her family) lives in Australia. They have spread out in their country as we have spread out in ours.  Last weekend they had a huge family reunion to celebrate my aunt's birthday.  As a special gift to their mom (mum for my family and friends Down Under), they flew her baby sister (my mom) to Australia to join in the celebration.  My oldest sister made the trip with Mom and they are having a grand time.

From the pics and the comments, I'd say that they had a wonderful day and a gathering similar to the kind that we have when we get together.  I'm looking forward to my trip to the land Down Under.

I spent the weekend with some of my cousins from Dad's side of the family, ones that I haven't seen in many years. Having moved away from Central Illinois more than thirty years ago, I have missed the many changes that take place in family growth. My cousins have kids and grandkids that I have never met.  I enjoyed catching up with their lives and had a few moments surrounded by kids that I didn't know that just wanted to see another magic trick!

I love a good family get together!

 Mom (on the right) and my Aunt Elsa (on the left)

John <><

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