19 Jul 2010

Celebrating family

We spent yesterday evening posing for family photographs. Just me, my brother and sister, my mum and my dad. Some were funny, most were sensible. All were important. We had a terrific lot of fun doing it too, although my brother-in-law, the photographer extraordinaire may beg to differ there, as he struggled with cramped quarters and fading light.

In the last ten days since we discovered my dad was ill, we've been spending a great deal of time celebrating and having fun. We've been strengthening our family ties and making our already strong bonds even stronger. We are so blessed to have been given this time, and we're making the most of every single teeny tiny incy wincy minute.

My aunts and uncles met together with us for morning tea after church yesterday. We munched through my cousin's raspberry muffins, my aunt's pattycakes and another cousin's choc chip bikkies. We sipped on Dad's Drambuie (the bottle the same aunts and uncles gave him for his birthday last weekend), and nice cappuccinos. We looked through the album of photos from last weekend's festivities. We talked, we laughed, we loved and we cared. We were all there together for a common purpose, and spending that time together was the most important thing in the world.

Later, at afternoon tea time, our own nuclear family: parents; siblings; and sibling-in-laws were at it again. Drinking tea and eating more deliciously unnecessary sweet stuff. We were celebrating life; we were celebrating each other; we were celebrating family.

We cracked open Hubby's much loved bottle of Martell Extra, and drank Dad's Glenlivet from plastic medicine cups. (Later we thought to bring up the crystal glasses, but the medicine cups were more fun.) What's the point of putting good bottles away for a special occasion - there will never, ever, be a better time than right now. Family time.

There is little doubt that this will be the pattern of our days over the coming weeks. The amount of alcohol might of necessity be allowed to deminish slightly, in deference to our livers, but the coming together as family, the laughter, the joy and the happiness of being together will continue. Our family will endure.

Given the same circumstances, would yours? Are your family ties firm? It times of difficulty would you pull together or fall apart? Do you express your love to the important people in your life now? Before it is too late?

One day soon the memories we are creating now will be all we have. Those hugs, those kisses, those prayers, those stories shared - these will sustain us through the dark days. We will remember the good times. But even then we will build on them. In those days we will gather together again. We will drink champagne. We will laugh, and we will cry. In the hard times our family will not be torn asunder, our family in those days will be strengthened even more.

Our family will be strong enough to withstand the bad times because in the good times we are making sure it will be.


  1. This is such a beautiful, heartfelt post Jeanne. How right you are - family is everything, and these days that you are sharing together now, with your Dad, are going to be some of your best memories. I'm so pleased you get to do this, to gather together, to laugh, to drink and eat and to remember. It sounds like you are so blessed to have such a wonderful family. Keep on doing just what you're doing I say. Seems just the right response.


  2. God sets the solitary in families!
    Yours sounds so fantastic. May He contiue to bless you all no matter what lies ahead.
    Our family has experienced many dark days and come up strong. It is so precious to have those roots. Yesterday, we took Mum home for a few hours from hospital. I too value every meal, every conversation with my dear parents.
    And for Jemimah? Special golden memories of her parents, grnadparents and extended family who stood together and trusted God in the valley of shadows.

  3. Just beautiful - relationships are really all that matter. You are an inspiration. xo

  4. Thank God He has given you all these precious moments to spend together to cherish always.

    Sounds like you're all making the most of your time with one another.

    God bless.

  5. Such a beautiful and heart warming post Jeanne! You are very blessed to have a family you bond with. xxx

  6. Family is so special and what makes life all that easier. Those you cherish and love will always hold special places in our hearts and soul no matter what may come, the days are not walked alone.

  7. You are indeed blessed with a great family! Relationships are the most important thing in life.

  8. and oh, that pic of Jemimah at the end is just gorgeous:)

  9. Families are everything and when I went to Adelaide recently and my 3 siblings and I were together for the first time in almost 4 years it was so special.

  10. I am sorry to read your father is ill. How special though, that you all are able to soak up such special times together. The Lord certainly is wonderful!

    I pray that His peace will envelope you all now and always...

  11. How beautiful. Each conversation, moment, and smile does take on a certain urgency, doesn't it? The day we found out my father had cancer, before we received news that mercifully it had not spread, my dad sat on the couch telling my Pippi one Old Testament story after another. It was beautiful and heartbreaking.

  12. I have been thinking about you and praying for you over the last week Jeanne.

    Twice my dad got sick and we thought it was the end. Twice he pulled through. Because of these days, I always thought we would have days to gather as a family but when the end came for him it came quickly. It made it a bit harder to take.

    I am so glad you are celebrating life with your family.



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