I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nothing Is More Important Than Family

Photo: Neale A.
I met a friend named Ken last night at Jake’s Cigars & Spirits. We both run our own businesses and are busy with family so we only see each other a couple of times a year. But we always pick up right where we left off the last time we saw each other. That is one of the marks of a great friendship. It can sustain long periods of silence and not miss a beat.

As we talked last night, I couldn’t help but think about C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams and others who met at The Eagle and Child pub in the 1930s and ‘40s to discuss literature and life. They called themselves “The Inklings.” When Ken and I get together, it is usually in that same spirit. Last night we talked about our businesses, economics, theology, health, books, and we also spent a lot time talking about family.

None of us are getting any younger. As Ken and I contemplated where we are in life, we came to the same conclusion. Nothing, on this earth, is more important than family. Our families look markedly different (he has a wife of 30 years and kids, while I am single and send a lot of time visiting my mom and other family members), but family is family.

Kids won’t always make the decisions we hope they will. Spouses will disagree with us sometimes. So will other family members. And extended family dynamics can be difficult. But as we get older, we can look back and laugh at the purple Mohawks our kids chose to get. We’ll conclude that our spouses and other family members had our best interests at heart when they disagreed with us. And those difficult extended family dynamics weren’t nearly as difficult as we thought they were. Or maybe they were, but after some of those family members passed on, we realized we could have broken bread together without as much angst.

Neither Ken or I said this, but I think we were telling each other that we want to finish well, especially in regards to our family. Not that either of us is in the fourth quarter, but we’re in the second half, and we know it. We’ve made mistakes with our families and we took what we believed to be corrective measures. Sometimes we inadvertently took the wrong corrective measures and adjusted again. But no matter where we have been on that spectrum, nothing satisfies either of us like sitting down with family over a meal and hearing how they are doing.

This morning I heard from another friend whose son is in this hospital with liver failure, which means their Thanksgiving plans have changed. They are praying for a miracle. Another friend is mourning the loss of his father. Everywhere you turn, people are hurting.

Here’s the thing – all of us have a finite amount of holidays and various other get-togethers to spend with loved ones. We never know when the next gathering will be the final one for us or one of our family members. Don’t let your next opportunity to spend time with your family pass for something you think is more important.

Nothing, on this earth, is more important than family.


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